Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

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Publication Type

52 results found

Wainwright B, Takeuchi H, Makino T, Kadiric Aet al., 2022, The influence of A ratio and surface roughness on the initiation and progression of micropitting damage, WEAR, Vol: 508, ISSN: 0043-1648

Journal article

Chennaoui M, Fowell M, Liang H, Kadiric Aet al., 2022, A novel set-up for in situ measurement and mapping of lubricant film thickness in a model rolling bearing using interferometry and ratiometric fluorescence imaging, Tribology Letters, Vol: 70, Pages: 1-17, ISSN: 1023-8883

This paper describes a unique experimental set-up constructed for studies of lubricant behaviour in an operating rolling element bearing including in situ quantitative measurements of film thickness in and around the element-raceway contact. The set-up is based on a deep groove ball bearing in which the outer race is made of sapphire to allow full optical access to the zone in which the rolling elements are loaded against it. This allows direct imaging of lubricant films under both steady-state and transient conditions and at contact pressures and rotational speeds representative of those present in real rolling element bearings. Optical interferometry is used to measure thin EHL films inside the ball–raceway contacts while a specific laser induced fluorescence approach, referred to as ratiometric fluorescence, is implemented to observe the lubricant distribution and quantify its thickness ahead of the ball–raceway contact. Results are presented to validate the accuracy of the method and to investigate the influence of bulk lubricant viscosity and bearing speed on contact film thickness, inlet starvation and lubricant distribution around the ball–raceway contact. To the best of our knowledge, the work described here is the first to directly measure lubricant distribution and EHL film thickness in a ball–raceway contact in an operating radial rolling bearing.

Journal article

Ueda M, Spikes H, Kadiric A, 2022, In-situ observation of the effect of the tribofilm growth on scuffing in rolling-sliding contact, Tribology Letters, Vol: 70, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 1023-8883

General reductions in lubricant viscosities in many machine components mean that the role of lubricant additives in forming tribofilms has become increasingly important to provide adequate surface protection against scuffing. However, the relationship between scuffing and the formation and removal of tribofilms has not been systematically demonstrated. In this study, a step-sliding speed scuffing test based on contra-rotation using MTM-SLIM and ETM-SLIM has been employed to observe concurrently tribofilm thickness and the onset of scuffing. The initial sliding speed used was found to significantly affect scuffing performance since it determines the extent to which a tribofilm can form before critical sliding speed conditions are reached. In general, additives that formed thicker tribofilms, especially ZDDPs and triphenyl phosphate, gave effective protection against scuffing, though their protective tribofilms were progressively removed at higher sliding speeds, eventually resulting in scuffing.

Journal article

Ueda M, Kadiric A, Spikes H, 2022, Influence of PMA on the anti-scuffing properties of AW/EP additives, Tribology International, Vol: 174, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0301-679X

Scuffing is becoming a quite common failure mode in gears and bearings. It has been shown that AW/EP additives are effective in preventing scuffing, but only if they are able to form a thick tribofilm before encountering severe scuffing-type conditions. This study has employed a contra-rotating, step-sliding speed scuffing test to explore the impact of PMAs on the ability of ZDDP and a commercial SP additive-containing package to prevent scuffing when subjected to immediately severe conditions. It is found that some PMAs can greatly enhance the anti-scuffing performance of these AW/EP additives. They do this by forming thick, adsorbed boundary films that can withstand high speed sliding conditions and protect the rubbing surfaces long enough for tribofilms to form.

Journal article

Kadiric A, Shore J, Christodoulias AI, Kolekar AS, Lockwood FEet al., 2022, Prediction of electric vehicle transmission efficiency using a new thermally coupled lubrication model, SAE Technical Papers, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 0148-7191

We present a new method to predict the power losses in electric vehicle (EV) transmission systems using a thermally coupled gearbox efficiency model. Friction losses in gear teeth contacts are predicted using an iterative procedure to account for the thermal coupling between the tooth temperature, oil viscosity, film thickness, friction, and oil rheology during a gear mesh cycle. Crucially, the prediction of the evolution of the coefficient of friction (COF) along the path of contact incorporates measured lubricant rheological parameters as well as measured boundary friction. This allows the model to differentiate between nominally similar lubricants in terms of their impact on EV transmission efficiency. Bearing and gear churning losses are predicted using existing empirical relationships. The effects of EV motor cooling and heat transfers in the heat exchanger on oil temperature are considered. Finally, heat transfer to the surroundings is accounted for so that the evolution of gearbox temperature over any given drive cycle can be predicted. The general approach presented here is applicable to any automotive gearbox while incorporating features specific to EVs. The model predictions are compared to real road measurements made on a popular current EV, and good agreement is shown over a range of road conditions. It should be noted that at high input speeds, the current model somewhat overpredicts the gearbox losses due to limitations in existing empirical bearing and churning loss models. Analyses of transmission losses breakdown at constant input power show that at low speeds/high torques, it is the losses in the gear meshes and high-load bearings that are most significant whereas at high speeds/low torques the losses in high-speed input shaft bearings, as well as gear churning losses, become more important. It is shown that the gearbox losses can account for 15-25% of the overall power losses in an EV depending on road conditions; a much higher proportion than in

Journal article

Ueda M, Wainwright B, Spikes H, Kadiric Aet al., 2022, The effect of friction on micropitting, Wear, Vol: 488-489, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0043-1648

Micropitting is a type of surface fatigue damage that occurs in rolling-sliding contacts operating under thin oil film conditions. It is caused by stress fluctuations, brought about by surface asperity interactions, which lead to initiation and propagation of numerous surface fatigue cracks and subsequent loss of material. Despite its increasing importance to gear and bearing reliability, the mechanisms of micropitting are poorly understood. This is particularly the case concerning the effects of friction on micropitting which are difficult to study under controlled conditions. This is because it is difficult to isolate the friction effects from other influential factors, in particular from the build-up of any anti-wear tribofilm and its subsequent effect on the running-in of counterface roughness that is known to strongly affect micropitting through its influence on severity of asperity stresses. This paper presents new data on the impact of friction on micropitting obtained using a new test methodology. Micropitting tests were conducted using a ball-on-disc MTM rig with the additional functionality to continuously monitor the growth of tribofilm during the test. Friction was varied by using custom-made oils containing different concentrations of MoDTC. Crucially, the effect of friction was isolated from the effect of counterface roughness running-in by introducing the MoDTC blend only after the running-in period was completed with a ZDDP solution alone. This approach eliminates the influence of MoDTC on ZDDP anti-wear tribofilm growth in early stages and hence ensures the same running-in takes place in each test. This gives similar asperity pressure history, regardless of the amount of MoDTC present.Resultsshow that friction has a very significant impact on micropitting; for example, the extent of micropitting was reduced by a factor of 10 when friction coefficient was reduced from about 0.1 to 0.04. Lower friction results in fewer surface cracks which grow at a s

Journal article

Ueda M, Spikes H, Kadiric A, 2022, Influence of black oxide coating on micropitting and ZDDP tribofilm formation, Tribology Transactions, Vol: 65, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 1040-2004

Micropitting is a type of surface fatigue damage that occurs in rolling-sliding contacts operating under thin oil film conditions. Application of black oxide (BO) coating to steel rubbing surfaces has been suggested as a potential approach to alleviate micropitting. This paper confirms that BO coatings can prevent micropitting and identifies the predominant mechanism by which this occurs.Micropitting tests were carried out using ZDDP solutions in a ball on disc tribometer. Micropitting was preferentially generated on the smooth balls and this was completely prevented by applying a BO coating to the rougher discs, regardless of whether the balls were coated or not. In contrast, when the rough discs were not BO-coated, micropitting was consistently generated on both BO-coated and uncoated balls. BO coating has about one quarter the hardness of the steel used and was found to be very rapidly removed from the surface asperity peaks at the onset of rubbing, despite the presence of ZDDP. This resulted in an almost immediate and very large reduction of the surface roughness of the discs and this prevented high asperity stresses that would normally initiate and propagate the surface fatigue cracks leading to micropitting. Parallel measurement showed that BO did not suppress tribofilm growth, so the ZDDP was able to protect against adhesive wear while not promoting micropitting. The insights presented here can help with the design of components and lubricants that are effective in controlling both sliding wear and micropitting.

Journal article

Boidi G, Grützmacher PG, Kadiric A, Profito FJ, Machado IF, Gachot C, Dini Det al., 2021, Fast laser surface texturing of spherical samples to improve the frictional performance of elasto-hydrodynamic lubricated contacts, Friction, Vol: 9, Pages: 1227-1241, ISSN: 2223-7704

Textured surfaces offer the potential to promote friction and wear reduction by increasing the hydrodynamic pressure, fluid uptake, or acting as oil or debris reservoirs. However, texturing techniques often require additional manufacturing steps and costs, thus frequently being not economically feasible for real engineering applications. This experimental study aims at applying a fast laser texturing technique on curved surfaces for obtaining superior tribological performances. A femtosecond pulsed laser (Ti:Sapphire) and direct laser interference patterning (with a solid-state Nd:YAG laser) were used for manufacturing dimple and groove patterns on curved steel surfaces (ball samples). Tribological tests were carried out under elasto-hydrodynamic lubricated contact conditions varying slide-roll ratio using a ball-on-disk configuration. Furthermore, a specific interferometry technique for rough surfaces was used to measure the film thickness of smooth and textured surfaces. Smooth steel samples were used to obtain data for the reference surface. The results showed that dimples promoted friction reduction (up to 20%) compared to the reference smooth specimens, whereas grooves generally caused less beneficial or detrimental effects. In addition, dimples promoted the formation of full film lubrication conditions at lower speeds. This study demonstrates how fast texturing techniques could potentially be used for improving the tribological performance of bearings as well as other mechanical components utilised in several engineering applications.

Journal article

Ueda M, Kadiric A, Spikes H, 2021, Wear of hydrogenated DLC in MoDTC-containing oils, Wear, Vol: 474-475, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0043-1648

This paper describes a study of the effect on MoDTC-promoted a-C:H DLC wear of adding various surface-active additives used in engine lubricants, including ZDDP, an ashless EP additive, Ca detergents, dispersants, an OFM and a PAMA, to an MoDTC solution. Tribofilms formed on wear tracks on steel were analysed using SLIM, TEM, STEM-EDX, Raman spectroscopy and XPS. Relevant mechanisms by which these additives reduce the impact of MoDTC on DLC wear have also been suggested. DLC wear in PAO+Mo can be reduced by the presence of other surface-active additives in three ways. Firstly, asperity contact between DLC and steel can be mitigated by forming thick antiwear tribofilms. Secondly, other additives can increase the ratio of MoS2:MoO3, reducing the amount of wear-enhancing MoO3 in the tribofilm. Thirdly, the amount of MoDTC tribofilm including MoO3 can be reduced by the competitive adsorption of other surface-active additives. This study has practical implications for ways in which DLC surfaces can be protected by lubricant formulation.

Journal article

Pagkalis K, Spikes H, Jelita Rydel J, Ingram M, Kadiric Aet al., 2021, The influence of steel composition on the formation and effectiveness of anti-wear films in tribological contacts, Tribology Letters, Vol: 69, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 1023-8883

The effectiveness of antiwear additives in laboratory tests is commonly evaluated using specimens made of AISI 52100 through-hardened bearing steel. However, many lubricated machine components are made of steels with significantly different material compositions, which raises an important practical question of whether the performance of antiwear additives with these other steel types is different from that established with AISI 52100. To help answer this question, this paper investigates the influence of steel composition on the formation and effectiveness of antiwear films. Four steels that are commonly used in tribological applications, namely AISI 52100 through-hardened bearing steel, 16MnCr5 case-carburised gear steel, M2 high speed steel and 440C stainless steel are tested in rolling-sliding, ball-on-disc contacts lubricated with three custom-made oils, one containing ZDDP and two containing different types of ashless antiwear additives. The relative effectiveness of their boundary films was assessed by measuring their thickness and associated wear and friction over 12 h of rubbing at two specimen roughness levels. For ZDDP it was found that the formation of antiwear film was not significantly influenced by steel composition or specimen surface roughness. A similar tribofilm thickness, final tribofilm roughness and friction was observed with all four steels. No measurable wear was observed. By contrast, for the ashless antiwear additives the thickness and effectiveness of their tribofilms was strongly influenced by steel composition, particularly at higher roughness levels. The exact trends in film thickness vs steel relationship depended on the specific chemistry of the ashless additive (ester-based or acid-based) but in general, relative to AISI 52100 steel, M2 steel promoted ashless tribofilm formation whilst 440C retarded ashless tribofilm formation. This behaviour is attributed to the presence of different alloying elements and the ability of the additives

Journal article

Boidi G, Profito FJ, Kadiric A, Machado IF, Dini Det al., 2021, The use of Powder Metallurgy for promoting friction reduction under sliding-rolling lubricated conditions, Tribology International, Vol: 157, ISSN: 0301-679X

This work exploits the use of different sintering manufacturing techniques for obtaining superior performances in lubricated point contacts. Disc and ball specimens were manufactures varying porosity and pore characteristics. The effect of surface pores in sintered materials was evaluated based on the frictional behaviour under different sliding-rolling conditions and lubrication regimes. Furthermore, lubricant film thicknesses were measured using interferometric technique. Test results showed that the decrease of porosity generally improves tribological performance. Low porosity surfaces can promote friction reduction compared to non-porous reference materials in specific configurations and operating with similar specific lubricant thickness values. This work contributes to an improved understanding of how randomly distributed micro-irregularities could change lubrication conditions, potentially increasing the efficiency of lubricated mechanical systems.

Journal article

Ueda M, Kadiric A, Spikes H, 2021, Influence of steel surface composition on ZDDP tribofilm growth using Ion implantation, Tribology Letters, Vol: 69, ISSN: 1023-8883

This paper examines the influence of steel surface composition on antiwear tribofilm formation by ion-implanting typical steel alloying elements, Ni, Mo, Cr, V and W, into AISI 52100 bearing steel surfaces. Such implantation changes the chemical composition of the steel surface but has relatively little effect on its mechanical properties or topography. The behaviour of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) antiwear additive was studied. The study employs a ball on disc tribometer with ability to monitor tribofilm development and a range of analytical tools including STEM-EDX, XPS and FIB-TEM to analyse the formed tribofilms. It was found that Ni implantation promotes ZDDP tribofilm formation while Mo and Cr implantation deters tribofilm growth. V and W implantation do not significantly change tribofilm formation. Results on the influence of ZDDP concentration on tribofilm formation rate with different implanted metals suggest that one important mechanism by which steel composition influences tribofilm formation may be by controlling the extent of ZDDP adsorption. This study shows the importance of steel surface composition on ZDDP response and also demonstrates a powerful way to study and potentially improve the tribological performance of machine components via a combination of lubricant formulation and surface modification.

Journal article

Ueda M, Kadiric A, Spikes H, 2020, ZDDP tribofilm formation on non-ferrous surfaces, Tribology Online, Vol: 15, Pages: 318-331, ISSN: 1881-218X

The current trend for using lower viscosity lubricants with the aim of improving fuel economy of mechanical systems means that machine components are required to operate for longer periods in thin oil film, boundary and mixed lubrication conditions, where the risk of surface damage is increased. In addition, non-ferrous materials are increasingly being introduced in machine components to reduce wear and increase efficiency. Thus, understanding of the ZDDP antiwear tribofilm formation on both ferrous and non-ferrous surfaces is increasingly important in order to formulate lubricants that give desired antiwear performance with both types of materials. In this paper the effect of ferrous and non-ferrous rubbing materials, namely, steel, Si3N4, WC, SiC and a-C:H DLC coating, on ZDDP tribofilm formation was investigated. Among non-ferrous materials, it was found that ZDDP tribofilms were formed on Si3N4 and WC in the boundary lubrication regime, but almost no tribofilms were formed on SiC and a-C:H DLC. In addition, although tribofilms formed on some non-ferrous surfaces, they were easily removed under boundary lubrication by direct asperity contact because of their weak adhesion to the substrate. This tribofilm removal makes quantification of ZDDP tribofilm formation rate on non-ferrous surfaces under boundary lubrication conditions difficult. By contrast, under high shear stress EHL conditions, thick tribofilms formed without film removal with the tribofilm thickness being the greatest for steel, followed by Si3N4 and then WC, with no tribofilm formation observed on SiC and DLC. QCM results suggest that ZDDP tribofilm formation might be considerably affected by the extent to which ZDDP adsorbs on the substrate surface. The chemical properties of tribofilms are discussed and a possible mechanism by which ZDDP forms tribofilm on non-ferrous surfaces is suggested. This study has practical implications for ways in which non-ferrous surfaces can be protected from wear via l

Journal article

Ueda M, Kadiric A, Spikes H, 2019, On the crystallinity and durability of ZDDP tribofilm, Tribology Letters, Vol: 67, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1023-8883

The current trend for using lower-viscosity lubricants with the aim of improving fuel economy of mechanical systems means that machine components are required to operate for longer periods in thin oil film, mixed lubrication conditions, where the risk of surface damage is increased. Consequently, the performance and durability of the tribofilms formed by antiwear additives, and in particular zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP), the main antiwear oil additive used in engine oils, has become an increasingly important issue. In this paper, it is confirmed that ZDDP tribofilms are initially relatively easily removed by rubbing but that they become more durable during prolonged rubbing. FIB-TEM analyses at different stages of tribofilm formation show that during the early stages of rubbing only the tribofilm close to the steel substrate is nanocrystalline, while the outer region is amorphous and easily removed. However, after prolonged rubbing all regions of the tribofilm become nanocrystalline and able to withstand rubbing in base oil without being removed. XPS analysis shows that after extended rubbing the outermost polyphosphate structures change from longer-chain structures such as metaphosphate and polyphosphate to shorter-chain structures including orthophosphate. This depolymerization of ZDDP tribofilm from long- to short-chain phosphate and consequent nanocrystallization are driven by heat and shear stress. EDX analysis shows that this conversion is promoted by diffusion of Fe cation into the bulk of the tribofilm. The finding that ZDDP tribofilms evolve during rubbing from a weaker amorphous structure to a more durable nanocrystalline one has important implications in terms of the behaviour of ZDDPs at low concentrations, on non-metallic surfaces and at very high contact pressures, as well as for the development of ZDDP tribofilm, friction and wear models.

Journal article

Kanazawa Y, De Laurentis N, Kadiric A, 2019, Studies of friction in grease lubricated rolling bearings using ball-on-disc and full bearing tests, Tribology Transactions, Vol: 63, Pages: 77-89, ISSN: 1040-2004

This article evaluates the frictional performance of different bearing grease formulations in full rolling bearings and a ball-on-disc rig and subsequently assesses whether the ball-on-disc test results can be used to predict the grease performance in actual bearings. A selection of custom-made greases with systematically varied formulations as well as their base oils were tested. Bearing torque was measured in two different cylindrical roller thrust bearings and a thrust ball bearing. The same lubricants were tested with ball-on-disc tribometers, a mini traction machine (MTM) to measure friction and an optical elastohydrodynamic (EHD) rig to measure film thickness. Both lithium complex and diurea greases were observed to produce lower friction than their base oils within the low speed, low nominal lambda ratio region, whereas the greases and oils had the same friction at high nominal lambda ratio values. These relative trends were the same in full bearing and single-contact MTM tests. The reduction in friction was seen to be related to the level of film thickness enhancement provided by greases at lower speeds, which leads to an increase in the effective lambda ratio and hence reduced friction. By extracting the sliding torque component from the overall measured bearing torque, a plot of the friction coefficient against the effective lambda ratio was produced encompassing all bearing and single-contact tests and all lubricants and test conditions. This plot was seen to follow a general shape of a master Stribeck curve, indicating that the numerical values of the friction coefficient from ball-on-disc and full bearing tests overlap and can be related to each other using this approach over the range of conditions employed here. Thus, single-contact ball-on-disc tests can provide a fast and economical way of establishing the frictional performance of bearing greases in full bearings in terms of both relative performance rankings and quantitative values of bearing fric

Journal article

Gouda K, Rycerz P, Kadiric A, Morales-Espejel Get al., 2019, Assessing the effectiveness of data-driven time-domain condition indicators in predicting the progression of surface distress under rolling contact, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology, Vol: 233, Pages: 1523-1540, ISSN: 1350-6501

Condition monitoring of machine health via analysis of vibration, acoustic and other signals offers an important tool for reducing the machine downtime and maintenance costs. The key aspect in this process is the ability to relate features derived from the recorded sensor signals to the physical condition of the monitored asset in real time. This paper uses simple machine learning techniques to examine the ability of specific time-domain features obtained from vibration signals to predict the progression of surface distress in lubricated, rolling-sliding contacts, such as those found in rolling bearings and gears. Controlled experiments were performed on a triple-disc rolling contact fatigue rig using seeded-fault roller specimens where micropitting damage was generated and its progression directly observed over millions of contact cycles. Vibration signals were recorded throughout the experiments. Features known as condition indicators were then extracted from the recorded time-domain signals and their evolution related to the observed physical state of the associated specimens using simple machine learning techniques. Five time-domain condition indicators were examined, peak-to-peak, root-mean-square, kurtosis, crest factor and skewness, three of which were found not to be redundant. First, a classification model using KNN nearest neighbor was built with the three informative condition indicators as training data. The cross-validation results indicated that this classifier was able to predict the presence of micropitting damage with a relatively high precision and a low rate of false positives. Secondly, a k-means clustering analysis was performed to measure the significance of each condition indicator by leveraging patterns. The peak-to-peak condition indicator was found to be a good predictor for progression of micropitting damage. In addition, this indicator was able to distinguish between micropitting and pitting failure modes with a high success rate. Finally

Journal article

Ueda M, Spikes H, Kadiric A, 2019, In-situ observations of the effect of the ZDDP tribofilm growth on micropitting, Tribology International, Vol: 138, Pages: 342-352, ISSN: 0301-679X

The ongoing trend for using ever lower viscosities of lubricating oils, with the aim of improving the efficiency of mechanical systems, means that machine components are required to operate for longer periods under thin film, mixed lubrication conditions where the risk of surface damage is increased. For this reason, the role of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) antiwear lubricant additive has become increasingly important in order to provide adequate surface protection. It is known that due to its exceptional effectiveness in reducing surface wear, ZDDP may promote micropitting by preventing adequate running-in of the contacting surfaces. However, the relationship between ZDDP tribofilm growth rate and the evolution of micropitting has not been directly demonstrated. To address this, we report the development of a novel technique using MTM-SLIM to obtain micropitting and observe ZDDP tribofilm growth in parallel throughout a test. This is then applied to investigate the effect of ZDDP concentration and type on micropitting.It is found that oils with higher ZDDP concentrations produce more micropitting but less surface wear and that, at a given concentration, a mixed primary-secondary ZDDP results in more severe micropitting than a primary ZDDP. Too rapid formation of a thick antiwear tribofilm early in the test serves to prevent adequate running-in of sliding parts, which subsequently leads to higher asperity stresses and more asperity stress cycles and consequently more micropitting. Therefore, any adverse effects of ZDDP on micropitting and surface fatigue in general are mechanical in nature and can be accounted for through ZDDP's influence on running-in and resulting asperity stress history. The observed correlation between antiwear film formation rate and micropitting should help in the design of oil formulations that extend component lifetime by controlling both wear and micropitting damage.

Journal article

Rycerz P, Kadiric A, 2019, The influence of slide–roll ratio on the extent of micropitting damage in rolling–sliding contacts pertinent to gear applications, Tribology Letters, Vol: 67, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 1023-8883

Micropitting is a type of surface damage that occurs in rolling–sliding contacts operating under thin oil film, mixed lubrication conditions, such as those formed between meshing gear teeth. Like the more widely studied pitting damage, micropitting is caused by the general mechanism of rolling contact fatigue but, in contrast to pitting, it manifests itself through the formation of micropits on the local, roughness asperity level. Despite the fact that micropitting is increasingly becoming a major mode of gear failure, the relevant mechanisms are poorly understood and there are currently no established design criteria to assess the risk of micropitting occurrence in gears or other applications. This paper provides new understanding of the tribological mechanisms that drive the occurrence of micropitting damage and serves to inform the ongoing discussions on suitable design criteria in relation to the influence of contact slide–roll ratio (SRR) on micropitting. A triple-disc rolling contact fatigue rig is used to experimentally study the influence of the magnitude and direction of SRR on the progression of micropitting damage in samples made of case-carburised gear steel. The test conditions are closely controlled to isolate the influence of the variable of interest. In particular, any variation in bulk heating at different SRRs is eliminated so that tests are conducted at the same film thickness for all SRRs. The results show that increasing the magnitude of SRR increases the level of micropitting damage and that negative SRRs (i.e. the component where damage is being accumulated is slower) produce more micropitting than the equivalent positive SRRs. Measurements of elastohydrodynamic film thickness show that in the absence of bulk heating, increasing SRR does not cause a reduction in EHL film thickness and therefore this cannot be the reason for the increased micropitting at higher SRRs. Instead, we show that the main mechanism by which increase in SRR

Journal article

Peng B, Spikes H, Kadiric A, 2019, The development and application of a scuffing test based on contra-rotation, Tribology Letters, Vol: 67, ISSN: 1023-8883

Scuffing is a surface failure mode that occurs in sliding–rolling contacts subjected to high loads and high sliding speeds, such as those in gears and cam-followers. Owing to its sudden onset, rapid progression and dependence on both fluid and boundary lubricant films, scuffing is difficult to study in a repeatable manner. This paper describes further development of a recently proposed scuffing test method based on contra-rotation, its extension to higher loads using a new experimental set-up and its application to study the onset of scuffing with a selection of model and fully-formulated oils. The method employs two surfaces moving in opposite directions under rolling–sliding conditions, with a fixed load and step-wise increasing sliding speed. By decoupling the entrainment and sliding speeds, the method allows the effects of lubricant formulation on scuffing performance to be isolated from the influence of viscosity. The approach achieves high sliding speeds in parallel with low entrainment speeds, while minimising the undesirable effects of surface wear and frictional heating. The proposed test is relatively fast and economical, with total test time of about 30 min including specimen cleaning and set-up. Results show that the newly implemented modifications have improved the repeatability of the test method, so that the number of repeat tests required for reliable oil ranking results is minimal. Tests with model and fully-formulated oils show that the onset of scuffing is characterised by a sharp and unrecoverable increase in friction and accompanied by the destruction of any boundary films. All tests show that the relationship load × speedn = constant holds at scuffing, with the exact value of the exponent n being dependent on the oil formulation. Additivised oils were shown to have enhanced scuffing resistance, which arises from their ability to postpone the uncontrollable rise in friction to higher sliding speeds. Finally, the critical maximu

Journal article

Manieri F, Stadler K, Morales-Espejel GE, Kadiric Aet al., 2019, The origins of white etching cracks and their significance to rolling bearing failures, International Journal of Fatigue, Vol: 120, Pages: 107-133, ISSN: 0142-1123

Presence of white etching cracks has been widely associated with early failures of rolling bearings in a number of applications, with wind turbine gearbox bearings being the most frequently cited and practically significant example. Despite the recent research efforts, there is yet no universal agreement on the mechanisms of formation of these cracks and little direct evidence of their significance to bearing reliability. In an attempt to address this, this paper proposes a new theory on the origins and significance of white etching cracks. The paper provides systematic experimental evidence in support of this theory through rolling contact fatigue tests performed with AISI 52100 bearing steel specimens on a triple-disc machine over a wide range of contact conditions. The test results show that white etching cracks can be formed with base oils as well as commercially formulated transmission and engine oils. WECs were generated under slide-roll-ratios ranging from 0.05 to 0.3, under positive and negative sliding, different contact pressures and specific film thicknesses ranging from 0.1 to 0.7. No white etching areas were ever observed without the associate crack being present, and it was also shown that white etching areas themselves can be produced in a pure rubbing contact of bearing steels under both lubricated and unlubricated conditions. These results provide direct evidence that the steel transformations that exhibit themselves as white etching areas are formed through rubbing of the existing crack faces, and that the chemical composition of the lubricant and the magnitude and direction of sliding are not the primary driver of WEC formation, in contrast to literature. Instead, the results presented here show that WECs are formed through the action of a specific stress history in time via the following mechanism: (i) Short-lived high contact stresses, which can be caused by a number of factors, act in the initial stages of the component life to initiate early f

Journal article

Morales-Espejel GE, Rycerz P, Kadiric A, 2018, Prediction of micropitting damage in gear teeth contacts considering the concurrent effects of surface fatigue and mild wear, Wear, Vol: 398-399, Pages: 99-115, ISSN: 0043-1648

The present paper studies the occurrence of micropitting damage in gear teeth contacts. An existing general micropitting model, which accounts for mixed lubrication conditions, stress history, and fatigue damage accumulation, is adapted here to deal with transient contact conditions that exist during meshing of gear teeth. The model considers the concurrent effects of surface fatigue and mild wear on the evolution of tooth surface roughness and therefore captures the complexities of damage accumulation on tooth flanks in a more realistic manner than hitherto possible. Applicability of the model to gear contact conditions is first confirmed by comparing its predictions to relevant experiments carried out on a triple-disc contact fatigue rig. Application of the model to a pair of meshing spur gears shows that under low specific oil film thickness conditions, the continuous competition between surface fatigue and mild wear determines the overall level as well as the distribution of micropitting damage along the tooth flanks. The outcome of this competition in terms of the final damage level is dependent on contact sliding speed, pressure and specific film thickness. In general, with no surface wear, micropitting damage increases with decreasing film thickness as may be expected, but when some wear is present micropitting damage may reduce as film thickness is lowered to the point where wear takes over and removes the asperity peaks and hence reduces asperity interactions. Similarly, when wear is negligible, increased sliding can increase the level of micropitting by increasing the number of asperity stress cycles, but when wear is present, an increase in sliding may lead to a reduction in micropitting due to faster removal of asperity peaks. The results suggest that an ideal situation in terms of surface damage prevention is that in which some mild wear at the start of gear pair operation adequately wears-in the tooth surfaces, thus reducing subsequent micropitting, fo

Journal article

Kadiric A, Rycerz P, 2017, Influence of Contact Conditions on the Onset of Micropitting in Rolling-Sliding Contacts Pertinent to Gear Applications


De Laurentis N, Cann P, Lugt P, Kadiric Aet al., 2017, The Influence of Base Oil Properties on the Friction Behaviour of Lithium Greases in Rolling/Sliding Concentrated Contacts, Tribology Letters, Vol: 65, ISSN: 1023-8883

This study investigates the influence of base oil type and viscosity on the frictional behaviour of lithium-thickened bearing greases. A series of model lithium greases were manufactured by systematically varying viscosity and type of base oil, so that the influence of a single base oil property could be studied in isolation. In addition, selected greases were blended with oleic acid, with the purpose of evaluating its effectiveness in further reducing grease friction. Friction coefficient and film thickness were measured in laboratory ball-on-disc tribometers over a range of speeds and temperatures. For a specific oil type, the influence of base oil viscosity on friction was found to be closely related to its effect on film thickness: greases formulated with PAO oils covering a wide range of viscosities gave very similar friction at the same nominal film thickness. For a given base oil viscosity, base oil type was found to have a strong influence on grease friction under all test conditions. PAO-based greases generally produced lower friction than mineral- and ester-based greases. Addition of oleic acid to the test greases did not significantly affect friction within the range of test conditions employed in this study. The results provide new insight into the frictional behaviour of greases, which may be used to help inform new low-friction grease formulations for rolling bearing applications.

Journal article

Kanazawa Y, Sayles RS, Kadiric A, 2017, Film formation and friction in grease lubricated rolling-sliding non-conformal contacts, Tribology International, Vol: 109, Pages: 505-518, ISSN: 1879-2464

This study investigates the film formation and friction in grease lubricated, rolling-sliding, non-conformal contacts over a range of entrainment speeds, surface roughnesses and contact temperatures. The effects of grease composition are assessed by employing custom made, additive free, lithium and diurea thickened greases, whose composition is systematically varied so that the effects of the thickener and the base oil can be isolated. All film thickness and friction measurements were conducted under fully-flooded conditions. It was found that at low speeds all tested greases are able to form thicker films than the corresponding base oils. The thickness and behaviour of these films is determined by the thickener type and is independent of the base oil viscosity and the test temperature. At higher speeds, the film thickness is governed by the base oil properties alone and can be predicted by the EHD theory. At low speeds, films with diurea greases grow with time under constant speed and residual films persist under load after contact motion ceases. The real lambda ratio, based on measured grease film thickness, was shown to correlate well with contact friction. The transition from the thickener dominated behaviour to that dominated by the base oil occurs at a relatively constant film thickness, regardless of the base oil viscosity and test temperatures, rather than at a given entrainment speed. Based on the presented evidence, it is here proposed that the mechanism of formation of grease films at low speeds, is analogous to that reported to operate in EHL contacts lubricated with colloidal dispersions, namely the mechanical entrapment and deposition of thickener fibres, and that, rather than the widely quoted ‘transition speed’, it is the ratio of the thickener fibre size to prevailing film thickness that determines the range of conditions under which the film enhancement due to the action of thickener is present.

Journal article

Rycerz P, Olver A, Kadiric A, 2017, Propagation of surface initiated rolling contact fatigue cracks in bearing Steel, International Journal of Fatigue, Vol: 97, Pages: 29-38, ISSN: 1879-3452

Surface initiated rolling contact fatigue, leading to a surface failure known as pitting, is a life limiting failure mode in many modern machine elements, particularly rolling element bearings. Most research on rolling contact fatigue considers total life to pitting. Instead, this work studies the growth of rolling contact fatigue cracks before they develop into surface pits in an attempt to better understand crack propagation mechanisms. A triple-contact disc machine was used to perform pitting experiments on bearing steel samples under closely controlled contact conditions in mixed lubrication regime. Crack growth across the specimen surface is monitored and crack propagation rates extracted. The morphology of the generated cracks is observed by preparing sections of cracked specimens at the end of the test. It was found that crack initiation occurred very early in total life, which was attributed to high asperity stresses due to mixed lubrication regime. Total life to pitting was dominated by crack propagation. Results provide direct evidence of two distinct stages of crack growth in rolling contact fatigue: stage 1, within which cracks grow at a slow and relatively steady rate, consumed most of the total life; and stage 2, reached at a critical crack length, within which the propagation rate rapidly increases. Contact pressure and crack size were shown to be the main parameters controlling the propagation rate. Results show that crack propagation under rolling contact fatigue follows similar trends to those known to occur in classical fatigue. A log-log plot of measured crack growth rates against the product of maximum contact pressure and the square root of crack length, a parameter describing the applied stress intensity, produces a straight line for stage 2 propagation. This provides the first evidence that growth of hereby-identified stage 2 rolling contact fatigue cracks can be described by a Paris-type power law, where the rate of crack growth across the s

Journal article

Hajishafiee A, Kadiric A, Ioannides E, Dini Det al., 2016, A coupled finite-volume CFD solver for two-dimensional elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication problems with particular application to rolling element bearings, Tribology International, Vol: 109, Pages: 258-273, ISSN: 1879-2464

This paper describes a new computational fluid dynamics methodology for modelling elastohydrodynamic contacts. A finite-volume technique is implemented in the ‘OpenFOAM’ package to solve the Navier-Stokes equations and resolve all gradients in a lubricated rolling-sliding contact. The method fully accounts for fluid-solid interactions and is stable over a wide range of contact conditions, including pressures representative of practical rolling bearing and gear applications. The elastic deformation of the solid, fluid cavitation and compressibility, as well as thermal effects are accounted for. Results are presented for rolling-sliding line contacts of an elastic cylinder on a rigid flat to validate the model predictions, illustrate its capabilities, and identify some example conditions under which the traditional Reynolds-based predictions deviate from the full CFD solution.

Journal article

Jelita Rydel J, Pagkalis K, Kadiric A, Rivera-Díaz-del-Castillo PEJet al., 2016, The correlation between ZDDP tribofilm morphology and the microstructure of steel, Tribology International, Vol: 113, Pages: 13-25, ISSN: 0301-679X

The microstructure of most hard steels used in tribological applications is inhomogeneous at a micro-scale. This results in local variations in chemical composition and mechanical properties. On a similar scale, tribofilms formed by ZDDP and other anti-wear additives are commonly observed to exhibit a patch-like morphology. ZDDP tribofilms formed under controlled contact conditions on four different steel grades were carefully studied with a new AFM technique to analyse the relationship between the steel microstructure and the tribofilm morphology. Tribofilms were found to be thinner on residual carbides than on the martensitic matrix in all grades containing residual carbides. In most cases, the difference in tribofilm thickness is larger than the carbide protrusion.

Journal article

Guegan J, Kadiric A, Gabelli A, Spikes Het al., 2016, The relationship between friction and film thickness in EHD point contacts in the presence of longitudinal roughness, Tribology Letters, Vol: 64, ISSN: 1573-2711

This study investigates friction and film thickness in elastohydrodynamic contacts of machined, rough surfaces, where roughness is dominated by longitudinal ridges parallel to the rolling/sliding direction. A ball-on-disc tribometer was used to simultaneously measure friction and film thickness in rough contacts as well as with nominally smooth specimens for comparison. The studied rough surfaces were selected so that the influence of the root-mean-square roughness and roughness wavelength can be assessed. Friction and film measurements were taken over a range of slide–roll ratios and speeds and with two lubricating oils with different viscosities, hence covering a wide range of specific film thicknesses. The measurements with the nominally smooth specimens show that friction is strongly influenced by thermal effects at high SRRs and that the transition from mixed/boundary to full EHD lubrication occurs at lambda ratios greater than three. At low speeds, the rough specimens are found to generate higher friction than the smooth ones for all the roughness structures considered, and this is shown to be related to the thinner minimum film thickness. Comparison of friction in rough and smooth contacts shows that the total friction in rough contacts can be divided into two components: one that is equivalent to friction in smooth contacts under the same conditions and is dependent on the slide–roll ratio, and the other that is due to the presence of roughness and is independent of the slide–roll ratio under the conditions tested. Further analysis of the minimum film thickness on tops of roughness ridges indicates that even after the full lift-off, an effect of the roughness on friction persists and is most likely related to the local shear stress in the micro-EHD contacts on the top of roughness ridges. At even higher speeds, the difference in friction between the rough and smooth specimens vanishes.

Journal article

De Laurentis N, Kadiric A, Lugt P, Cann Pet al., 2016, The influence of bearing grease composition on friction in rolling/sliding concentrated contacts, Tribology International, Vol: 94, Pages: 624-632, ISSN: 0301-679X

This paper presents new results examining the relationship between bearing grease composition and rolling-sliding friction in lubricated contacts. Friction coefficient and lubricating film thickness of a series of commercially available bearing greases and their bled oils were measured in laboratory tribometers. Test greases were selected to cover a wide spectrum of thickener and base oil types, and base oil viscosities. The trends in measured friction coefficients were analysed in relation to grease composition in an attempt to establish the relative influence of individual grease components on friction. Two distinct operating regions with markedly different friction behaviour are identified for each grease. At relatively high speeds the greases behave approximately as their bled/base oils, while in the low speed region the frictional response is very dependent on their thickener type and properties of the lubricating film. Low viscosity, synthetic base oil seems to offer efficiency advantages in the high speed region regardless of thickener used, while the choice of thickener type is significant under low speed conditions.

Journal article

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