This project aims at developping mathematical models and numerical techniques for the simulation of lubrified contacts under cavitation conditions. Applications are numerous both in biomechanics (e.g., joints) and the industry (e.g., bearings in engines and other automotive applications). Classical lubrication models are inadequate for several problems involving free surfaces, for example for the simulation of the piston ring / liner contact. The proponent has recently introduced new models aimed at solving these inadequacies but several questions and implementation challenges arise. Firstly, extension of an existing prototype to multidimensional problems is an issue. Dealing with nonlinearities and changes in the topology of the cavitated region will be addressed. A robust methodology that allows for the simulation of joints and bearings of realistic geometry and dynamics is one of the main goals. Secondly, improved modelling of the rupture condition and transport in the cavitated area is needed. Finally, application of the techniques for the design and optimization of microtextured surfaces with improved performance (in terms of wear, friction and lubricant loss) is the long-term goal.This project contributes to the INCT on Medicine Assisted by Scientific Computing and to the brazilian efforts on the improvement of FLEX engines.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: