Contact Mechanics of Elastomers
The research group Contact Mechanics of Elastomers deals with the contact description and modelling of different elastomer components and their counterparts. Elastomers are dimensionally stable but elastically deformable plastics. They are widely used in many tribological applications as they allow the transmission of high adhesive and friction forces as well as high deformability. Our research covers a wide range of applications such as tires, sealing technology and the interaction of soft material robotic systems with their environment. We analyze friction and contact phenomena theoretically, ranging from simple physical models like the brush model to complex models using the finite element method. With our institute’s test equipment, we are able to parametrize and validate our models. An overview of the test rigs available can be found in this poster (pdf - 3.4 MB).
The research focus is specifically laid on:
- modelling of the contact between tire and road,
- modelling of friction mechanisms,
- influence of the surface structure on the friction behavior,
- modelling of transient effects in seal contacts,
- wear tests on profile block level,
- contact modelling of soft material robotic systems.
Dipl.-Ing. Stephanie Kahms