• contact mechanics;
  • elastic–plastic finite element analysis;
  • flat fretting fatigue tests;
  • friction


An understanding into the macro kinetic and kinematic behaviour of fretted surfaces is provided. Making use of a modified version of a previously developed in-house two-dimensional elastic–plastic finite element analysis numerically simulates flat contact pad fretting fatigue tests. Basic macro mechanics concepts are adopted to idealise two bodies with rough contact surfaces and loaded at two different sites with arbitrary axial loading profiles. A time scale factor is devised to recognise the earliest candidate out of the events possibly accommodated at each loading increment.

The present analysis utilises a relevant experimental set up developed in the Structural Integrity Research Institute of the University of Sheffield as an application. Computational results accurate to within 1.2% and corresponding to one contact pad span and six constant normal loads acting individually with four amplitudes of two sinusoidal axial load cycles are presented. The present computations include (1) the development of the global and local normal and tangential reactions and relative sliding displacement acting along the fretting surfaces and (2) contact pad deformation, generated stress fields and plasticity development within the neighbouring region of the fretted area.