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The Force Cone Method Applied to Explain Hidden Whirls in Tribology

Mattheck, Claus 1; Greiner, Christian ORCID iD icon 1; Bethge, Klaus 1; Tesari, Iwiza 1; Weber, Karlheinz 1
1 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


In tribologically loaded materials, folding instabilities and vortices lead to the formation of complex internal structures. This is true for geological as well as nanoscopic contacts. Classically, these structures have been described by Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities or shear localization. We here introduce an alternative explanation based on an intuitive approach referred to as the force cone method. It is considered how whirls are situated near forces acting on a free surface of an elastic or elastoplastic solid. The force cone results are supplemented by finite element simulations. Depending on the direction of the acting force, one or two whirls are predicted by the simplified force cone method. In 3D, there is always a ring shaped whirl present. These modelling findings were tested in simple model experiments. The results qualitatively match the predictions and whirl formation was found. The force cone method and the experiments may seem trivial, but they are an ideal tool to intuitively understand the presence of whirls within a solid under a tribological load. The position of these whirls was found at the predicted places and the force cone method allows a direct approach to understand the complex processes in the otherwise buried interfaces of tribologically loaded materials.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000136133
Veröffentlicht am 09.08.2021
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Angewandte Materialien – Computational Materials Science (IAM-CMS)
Institut für Angewandte Materialien - Werkstoff- und Biomechanik (IAM-WBM)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1996-1944
KITopen-ID: 1000136133
HGF-Programm 43.34.02 (POF IV, LK 01) Hybrid and Functionalized Structures
Erschienen in Materials
Verlag MDPI
Band 14
Heft 14
Seiten Art.-Nr. 3894
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Computational Materials Tribology.
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 13.07.2021
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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