Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Sheng Li, Ph.D. (Advisor); Ahsan Mian, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Joy Elizabeth Gockel, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Pitting is a rolling contact fatigue phenomenon commonly observed in mechanical rolling elements, such as gears and bearings. In case of gear contacts, pitting usually takes place in the dedendum region, where both sliding and contact load are high. In this study, a model is developed to predict surface breaking crack formation fatigue lives, including both nucleation and propagation stages, for spur gear contacts operating under mixed elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) condition. The model utilizes a gear load distribution model for tooth contact Analysis. A mixed EHL formulation is implemented to evaluate the surface normal pressure and tangential shear, incorporating the lubricant non-Newtonian behavior, which is influential on lubrication film thickness and surface tractions under high sliding condition. According to the surface tractions, a boundary element formulation is utilized to determine the stress fields, whose contribution to fatigue damage accumulation is assessed using a multi-axial fatigue criterion, predicting the crack nucleation life. As for the crack propagation life evaluation, the Paris and Erdogan’s formula is adopted. With the developed contact fatigue model, a parametric investigation is performed considering a spur gear pair, operating under different loads and different surface roughness conditions.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded