Contact mechanics, friction and contact fatigue on polymeric surfaces

During the lifetime of polymer surfaces, which are used as a part of a bearing or medical hip joint, fracture and fatigue results from a large number of sliding or rolling cycles. For these applications semicrystalline polymers, often reinforced by fillers, are used. The aim of this project is to gain fundamental insight and analyze the damage mechanisms for surfaces submitted to contact fatigue for unfilled semicrystalline polymers systems and to come up with a hybrid experimental numerical failure criterion which gives an indication on when and how wear initiates based on the orientation and the crystallinity of semicrystalline polymers. The study will help in improving the lifetime and wear resistance of polymers, based on the formulated failure criterion.

Type of research: numerical