Analysis of Temperatures and Stresses in Wet Friction Disks Involving Thermally Induced Changes of Contact Pressure
Thermal distortions of friction disks caused by frictional heating modify pressure distribution on friction surfaces. Pressure distribution, in turn, determines distribution of generated frictional heat. These interdependencies create a complex thermoelastic system that, under some conditions, may become unstable and may lead to severe pressure concentrations with very high local temperature and stress. The phenomenon is responsible for many common thermal failure modes of friction elements and is known as frictionally excited thermoelastic instability (TEI). In the paper, one of the cases of TEI is investigated theoretically and experimentally. The study involves a two-disk structure with one fiction disk and one matching steel disk that have one friction interface. An unsteady heat conduction problem and an elastic contact problem are modeled as axisymmetric ones and are solved using the finite element method.