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jfmolinari's picture

Journal club for December 2023 : Recent trends in modeling of asperity-level wear

Ernest Rabinowicz’s words, spoken two decades ago in his groundbreaking textbook on the friction and wear of materials [1], continue to resonate today: ’Although wear is an important topic, it has never received the attention it deserves.’ Rabinowicz’s work laid the foundation for contemporary tribology research [2]. Wear, characterized as the removal and deformation of material on a surface due to the mechanical action of another surface, carries significant consequences for the economy, sustainability, and poses health hazards through the emission of small particles. According to some estimates [1, 3], the economic impact is substantial, accounting for approximately 5% of the Gross National Product (GNP).

Despite its paramount importance, scientists and engineers often shy away from wear analysis due to the intricate nature of the underlying processes. Wear is often perceived as a ”dirty” topic, and with good reason. It manifests in various forms, each with its own intricacies, arising from complex chemical and physical processes. These processes unfold at different stages, creating a time-dependent phenomenon influenced by key parameters such as sliding velocity, ambient or local temperature, mechanical loads, and chemical reactions in the presence of foreign atoms or humidity.

The review paper by Vakis et al. [5] provides a broad perspective on the complexity of tribology problems. This complexity has led to numerous isolated studies focusing on specific wear mechanisms or processes. The proliferation of empirical wear models in engineering has resulted in an abundance of model variables and fit coefficients [6], attempting to capture the intricacies of experimental data.

Tribology faces a fundamental challenge due to the multitude of interconnected scales. Surfaces exhibit roughness with asperities occurring at various wavelengths. Only a small fraction of these asperities come into contact, and an even smaller fraction produces wear debris. The reasons behind why, how, and when this occurs are not fully understood. The debris gradually alter the surface profile and interacts with one another, either being evacuated from the contact interface or gripping it, leading to severe wear. Due to this challenge of scales, contributions of numerical studies in wear research over the past decades sum up to less than 1% (see Fig. 1). Yet, exciting opportunities exist for modeling, which we attempt to discuss here.

While analyzing a single asperity contact may not unveil the entire story, it arguably represents the most fundamental level to comprehend wear processes. This blog entry seeks to encapsulate the authors’ perspective on this rapidly evolving topic. Acknowledging its inherent bias, the aim is to spark controversies and discussions that contribute to a vibrant blogosphere on the mechanics of the process.

The subsequent section delves into the authors’ endeavors in modeling adhesive wear at the asperity level. Section 3 navigates the transition to abrasive wear, while Section 4 explores opportunities for upscaling asperity-level mechanisms to the meso-scale, with the aspiration of constructing predictive models. Lastly, although the primary focus of this blog entry is on modeling efforts, it would be remiss not to mention a few recent advances on the experimental front.

Postdoc (3 years) on finite element modelling of textile materials and processes

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher for a research project on textile modelling. In this project, the main purpose is to develop a multi-scale textile modelling framework that allows accurate simulation of textile manufacturing processes such as yarn unwinding from a bobbin, weft insertion during weaving, stitching and tufting. This framework is implemented using finite element modelling as well as virtual fibre modelling. Key here are the dynamics of these systems as most textile production happens at high speeds.

Xavier Morelle's picture

Rheological investigation and modeling of healing properties during extrusion‐based 3D printing of poly(lactic‐acid)

Dear fellow iMechanicians,

Here is our recent paper that studies and models the rheological behavior of PLA deposited by 3D printing and allows to highlight the important process parameters than enable a full healing of the interface between printed layers.


Shailendra's picture

MMM10 (2-7 October 2022, Baltimore) Symposium #13: Mechanics and Physics of Material Failure

Dear Colleagues,
The 10th International Conference on Multiscale Materials Modeling (MMM 10) will be held during 2-7 October 2022 at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

We are organizing a symposium on the Mechanics and Physics of Material Failure (Symposium #13).

Georges Limbert's picture

Research Fellow position in Computational Mechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Southampton, UK.

Job Purpose: To make a leading research contribution to an industry-sponsored project on state-of-the-art finite element techniques to simulate needle penetration into skin working with the PI, A/Prof. Georges Limbert. You will join the national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS). In addition, you will work closely with the sponsor and contribute to the planning, writing and submission of reports and research publications.


Full Time Fixed Term for 18 months

Salary:   £31,406 to £38,587 per annum

PhD vacancy (4 years) on computational mechanics of thick adhesive joints in large wind turbine blades

Over the last years, UGent-MMS has developed the stand-alone BladeMesher software for generating finite element models of large wind turbine blades. The software reads in the material data and airfoil data of the wind turbine blade, and automatically constructs the geometry and finite element mesh for the blade. In a next step, the nodal and element information of the finite element mesh is written out to an input file for a commercial finite element solver (Abaqus in this case).

Dibakar Datta's picture

New Book on 2D Materials

We have edited a new book on 2D materials. Thanks to all the authors for their contribution. 

ScienceDirect LINK: Synthesis, Modeling, and Characterization of 2D Materials, and Their Heterostructures 

marco.paggi's picture

Modeling, simulation and data analysis for Covid-19 epidemic

Online symposium organized by the Young Academy of Europe on models and simulation for Covid-19 epidemic, including data analysis, on April 22 from 4 to 6 pm (CEST).

Free attendance upon registration. 

See the link below for more info about speakers, abstracts, timetable and registration:

150 people have already made the registration 

noyco's picture

SES 2020 symposium: Modeling and Computational Methods for Polymer Networks and Gels

Shawn Chester (NJIT) and I (Technion) invite you to submit an abstract to the symposium “Modeling and Computational Methods for Polymer Networks and Gels” as part of the Society of Engineering Sciences 57th Annual Meeting (SES 2020). The meeting will take place at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis during September 28-30, 2020.

Lucia Nicola's picture

vacancies for postdoctoral researchers in computational mechanics of materials

The computational mechanics of materials group at the University of Padua, Italy, is searching for three postdocs to conduct research in the area of multiscale materials modeling. The research work aims at building a model to study contact friction and lubrication of metal rough surfaces. The project is funded by the European community (ERC grant).

Candidates should have experience with programming and be familiar with one or more modeling techniques. Preference will go to applicants with experience in dislocation dynamics or molecular dynamics simulations.

Postdoctoral associate positions in virtual surgery at RPI

The Center for Modeling Simulation and Imaging in Medicine (CeMSIM) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY , USA invites applications for postdoctoral associate positions to work on projects funded by the National Institutes of Health on developing simulation systems for surgery. The ideal candidate will develop the next generation real time surgical simulation technology based on advanced physics-based computational methods, robotic  systems and machine learning algorithms.


wxq933's picture

PhD positions in multiscale modeling of materials at North Dakota State University

One or two fully funded PhD positisons (tuition plus reasearch or teaching assistantships) are immediately available in the Computational Dynamics and Materials Laboratory at North Dakota State University (NDSU) during the academic year 2018~2019.

Jingjie Yeo's picture

Materials-by-design: computation, synthesis, and characterization from atoms to structures In the 50 years that succeeded Richard Feynman’s exposition of the idea that there is "plenty of room at the bottom" for manipulating individual atoms for the synthesis and manufacturing processing of materials, the materials-by-design paradigm is being developed gradually through synergistic integration of experimental material synthesis and characterization with predictive computational modeling and optimization.

KevinGE's picture

one postdoctoral position at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Our group has one postdoctoral position opening supported by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)-Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre (DManD) for a project involving multimaterial stereolithography for 3D/4D printing.

Kmomeni's picture

PhD position in Multiscale Modeling of the Synthesis Process of Nanomaterials

A PhD position is open for fall 2017 in Advanced Hierarchical Materials by Design Lab at Louisiana Tech University on multiscale modeling of the synthesis process of nanomaterials. The candidates must have a degree in Mechanical Engineering or related fields. Having a background in theoretical and computational mechanics, specifically continuum mechanics and finite element modeling, such as COMSOL, is a PLUS. Familiarity with the software package ParaView is desired. 

Kmomeni's picture

Graduate research position - Modeling of composites (US Citizens only)

A graduate position is opened in Advanced Hierarchical Materials by Design Lab at Louisiana Tech University on multiscale modeling of composites. The candidates must have earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering or related fields, and be a US Citizen. Candidates with a solid background in theoretical and computational mechanics, specifically continuum mechanics and finite element modeling are preferred. Familiarity with FEM software package COMSOL is a plus.

Ying Li's picture

Call for Abstract Submission to USNCCM14: Multiscale Modeling in Bio-Mechanical Systems

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to submit your one-page abstract to our Mini-Symposium (MS108) "Multiscale Modeling in Bio-Mechanical Systems" for

USACM's 14th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics (USNCCM14)

Date & Location:

yann.charles's picture

PostDoctoral Position on polymer composite material modeling - University Paris 13, Paris, France

no longer available.


A 12 months post Doctoral position is avalaible on mechanical and numerical modeling fields at LSPM, univ. Paris 13, France.

The aim  is the development of a theoretical and numerical modeling approach in order to describe the mechanical properties of polymer composite material and structures reinforced by CarbonNanoTube. Once the description of mechanical properties achieved, the extension of the modeling  framework to the electrical and thermal properties and their coupling to the mechanical behavior might be considered.

Dargazany's picture

Ph.D. Positions in Mechanics of Soft Materials at Michigan State University

Our Group of High Performance Materials in Enviormental & Civil Engineering Department at Michigan State University has an openings for PhD positions to work on Multiscale Modeling of Soft Materials starting sSummer  or Fall 2015.


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