Fretting wear is the material damage of two contact surfaces caused by micro relative displacement. Its characteristic is that debris is trapped on the contact surfaces. Depending on the material properties, the shapes of the debris, and the dominant wear mechanisms, debris can play different roles that either protect or harm interfaces. Due to the micro scale of the debris, it is difficult to obtain instantaneous information and investigate debris behavior in experiments. The Finite Element Method (FEM) has been used to model the process of fretting wear and calculate contact variables, such as contact stress and relative slip during the fretting wear process. In this research, a 2D fretting wear model with a debris layer was developed to investigate the influence of debris on fretting wear. Effects of different factors such as thickness of the debris layer, Young’s modulus of the debris layer, and the time of importing the layer into the FE model were considered in this study. Based on FE results, here we report that: (a) the effect of Young’s modulus of the debris layer on the contact pressure is not significant; (b) the contact pressure between the debris layer and the flat specimen decreases with increasing thickness of the layer and (c) by importing the debris layer in different fretting wear cycles, the debris layer shows different roles in the wear process. At the beginning of the wear cycle, the debris layer protects the contact surfaces of the first bodies (cylindrical pad and flat specimen). However, in the final cycle, the wear volumes of the debris layers exhibit slightly higher damage compared to the model without the debris layer in all considered cases.
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