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The University of Southampton

Research project: Finite element modelling of fatigue crack growth in multi-layered systems under large scale yielding conditions

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Current fatigue evaluations of bearing architectures and materials are based on a single durability test under idealised loading conditions of magnitude and direction. The variability of engine designs that bearings must support is extensive, thus the rigorous process of experimental tests to validate each design must be informed by modelling approaches.

Plastic deformation
Plastic deformation

A methodology involving a damage tolerance approach and FE analysis provides an insight into the failure mechanisms thus improving the selection of suitable materials and architectures for each individual application. The application of complex loading conditions that arise from the hydrodynamic film in bearings cause mixed mode loading conditions that, along with multi-layered architectures, promote complex crack propagation patterns and large-scale yielding conditions. The prediction of 3D crack growth in such layered systems, in order to estimate the service life of a bearing has been conducted consequently offering approaches to the selection of the most suitable material and architecture in future designs.

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