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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 22, Number 5, March30 2006 , pages 517-539

Efficient treatment of rubber friction problems
in industrial applications
K. Hofstetter, J. Eberhardsteiner and H. A. Mang

    Friction problems involving rubber components are frequently encountered in industrial applications. Their treatment within the framework of numerical simulations by means of the Finite Element Method (FEM) is the main issue of this paper. Special emphasis is placed on the choice of a suitable material model and the formulation of a contact model specially designed for the particular characteristics of rubber friction. A coupled thermomechanical approach allows for consideration of the influence of temperature on the frictional behavior. The developed tools are implemented in the commercial FE code ABAQUS. They are validated taking the sliding motion of a rubber tread block as example. Such simulations are frequently encountered in tire design and development. The simulations are carried out with different formulations for the material and the frictional behavior. Comparison of the obtained results with experimental observations enables to judge the suitability of the applied formulations on a structural scale.
Key Words
    friction; rubber; thermo-mechanical coupling; finite elements; tires.
Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria

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