Thermal instability has been considered by pioneer researchers to be one of the most promising lines for a fundamental investigation into the failure mechanisms of rolling–sliding contacts. This article uses a recently developed mixed lubrication model that integrates interrelated topographical, mechanical, thermal, and tribochemical aspects to study the thermal instability of high-performance rolling–sliding contacts. The effects of various system parameters on the relation between the system bulk temperature and the heat generation in the contact are analyzed. The parameters include surface roughness; contact component size; surface and lubricant mechanical, thermal, and tribochemical properties; and operating conditions. Key results and their implications to system design and operation considerations are summarized in the Conclusion section of the article in relation to enhancing the thermal stability of the contact, particularly under adverse lubrication conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films