Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Xiao, Shaoping

First Committee Member

Bhatti, Asghar

Second Committee Member

Lu, Jia

Third Committee Member

Ding, Hongtao

Fourth Committee Member

Sugiyama, Hiroyuki


In this thesis, a hierarchical multiscale method was developed to predict rolling contact fatigue lives of mechanical systems. In the proposed multiscale method, the molecular modeling and simulation of lubricant was conducted to investigate the friction between rolling contact surfaces. The calculated friction coefficient was passed to the continuum model of rolling contact components to predict fatigue lives.

Molecular dynamics modeling and simulation of thin film lubrication and lubricated contact surfaces were carried out to investigate mechanisms of hydrodynamic lubrication at nano-scale first. Although various lubricant alkane chains were considered in the molecular model, the chain length of eight united molecules were mainly employed in this thesis. In addition, the effects of temperature and nano-particles (debris) on the friction forces were discussed. It was found that the existing of nano-particles (debris) could increase the friction force between contact surfaces with hydrodynamic lubrication.

In the continuum model of the developed multiscale method, finite element analysis was employed to predict rolling contact fatigue life of rolling contact components, including bearing and gear-tooth. Specifically, the fatigue crack initiation of bearing was studied, and then the fatigue crack initiation and propagation in gear-tooth. In addition, the enhancement of gear-tooth fatigue life by using composite patches was discussed as well. It should be noted that the friction coefficient used in the continuum model was calculated in the molecular model. It is one-way message passing in the developed multiscale method.

Another continuum method was studied and developed in this thesis to provide alternate methods for the continuum model in the proposed multiscale framework. Peridynamics method has advantages in modeling and simulation of discontinuities, including cracks, over the conventional finite element methods. The applications of Peridynamics in predicting fatigue crack initiation and propagation lives were discussed in this thesis.


bearing, Fatigue, multi-scale modeling, numerical analysis, rolling contact fatigue


xiv, 166 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 147-166).


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Copyright © 2016 Mir Ali Ghaffari Gharehbagh