IGM Colloquium: Toward a mechanistic understanding of adhesive wear


Event details

Date and time 17.11.2020 12:1513:15  
Place and room
Zoom webinar
Online https://epfl.zoom.us/s/84160054600
Speaker Prof. Jean-François Molinari, Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory, EPFL School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), Civil Engineering Institute (IIC)
Category Conferences - Seminars
We discuss recent advances in developing a fundamental, mechanistic, understanding of the evolution of surface roughness of solids during dry sliding. The time evolution of surface roughness is little understood although it crucially impacts friction and wear. Engineering wear models are for the most part empirical, and the development of physics-based predictive models will require intensive experimental, theoretical, and numerical research at various scales. This presentation focuses on atomistic and mesoscale numerical modeling of rough solids under sliding in the presence of adhesive wear mechanisms.

In the first part, we summarize our attempts at capturing debris formation at micro contacts using atomistic potentials [1,2]. We show that, in the simple situation of an isolated micro contact, the final debris size scales with the maximum junction size attained upon shear. This permits to draw analogies with Archard adhesive wear model [3]. In the second part, this single-asperity understanding is incorporated in a mesoscale model [4], which aims at estimating from first principles the wear coefficient, a notoriously little understood parameter in wear models. We estimate the amount of volume of debris formed for a given applied load, using the probability density of micro contact sizes. A crucial element of this mesoscale model is the distribution of surface heights, which should evolve as wear processes take place. This leads us, in the final part, to a discussion of recent simulations aiming at understanding the long-term evolution of surface roughness. These long time scales simulations reveal the emergence of self-affine fractal surfaces irrespective of the initial surfaces characteristics [5].

[1]          Aghababaei, R., Warner, D.H., Molinari, J.F., “On the debris-level origins of adhesive wear”, PNAS, 114(30), pp. 7935-7940 , 2017.
[2]          Aghababaei, R., Warner, D.H., Molinari, J.F., “Critical length scale controls adhesive wear mechanisms”, Nature Comm., 11816, 2016.
[2]          Archard, J.F., “Contact and rubbing of flat surfaces”, J. of Applied Physics, 24, 981, 1953.
[4]          Frérot, L., Aghababaei, R., Molinari, J.F., “On understanding the wear coefficient: from single to multiple asperities contact”, J. Mech. Phys. Solids,               114, pp. 172-184, 2018.
[5]          Milanese, E. Brink, T., Aghababaei, R., Molinari, J.F., “Emergence of self-affine surfaces during adhesive wear”, Nature Communications, 10, 1116,               2019.

Professor J.F. Molinari is the director of the Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory (http://lsms.epfl.ch) at EPFL, Switzerland. He holds an appointment in the Civil Engineering Institute, which he directed from 2013 to 2017, and a joint appointment in the Materials Science Institute. He started his tenure at EPFL in 2007 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2012. 
J.F. Molinari graduated from Caltech, USA, in 2001, with a M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics. He held professorships in several countries besides Switzerland, including the United States with a position in Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University (2000-2006), and France at École Normale Supérieure Cachan in Mechanics (2005-2007), as well as a Teaching Associate position at the École Polytechnique de Paris (2006-2009). 
The work conducted by Prof. Molinari and his collaborators takes place at the frontier between traditional disciplines and covers several length scales from atomistic to macroscopic scales. Over the years, Professor Molinari and his group have been developing novel multiscale approaches for a seamless coupling across scales. The activities of the laboratory span the domains of damage mechanics of materials and structures, nano- and microstructural mechanical properties, and tribology. Prof. Molinari was a recipient of an ERC Starting Grant award in 2009.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



IGM Colloquium: Toward a mechanistic understanding of adhesive wear