Friction is a well known -- yet not completely understood -- physical phenomenon. What we surely know about it, is that it produces a force in a direction opposite to the sliding of two bodies in contact. Despite being a macroscopically perceived phenomenon, friction is assumed to originate from the effect of many microscopical interactions, which can be mechanical or electro-magnetic. We will focus on the mechanical interactions, which we will investigate by means of a micro-scale contact simulation based on the Finite Element Method. The aim of our research is to quantify the amount of friction caused by mechanical forces and to relate it to the physical properties of the bodies involved. Important quantities in our studies will be the roughness of the two surfaces and the elastic parameters of the contacting bodies. Given the non-smooth nature of contact problems, we will employ state-of-the-art non-smooth multilevel solvers.
Since we want to deduce macroscopic properties from a microscopic model, without separating the different scales of the problem, we must resolve the geometry of the contacting bodies at a high spatial frequency, but for large surfaces: therefore, due to the large number of unknowns involved in the contact problem, parallel simulations will be carried out.
Part of the project is realized in cooperation with a non-disclosed company, which will provide us with experimental data.
Prof. Dr. Rolf Krause; ; PI; ICS Institute of Computational Science