CE06 - Polymères, composites, physique et chimie de la matière molle, procédés

mechanisms of abrasion WEar of ELastomers – WEEL

Submission summary

The WEEL project aims at bringing new insights in the fundamental understanding of the abrasion wear mechanisms of reinforced elastomers that will set the basis for future improvements in the prediction of durability of such materials. This general scientific objective may be formulated in the following set of more precise questions: (i) What are the mechanisms of wear initiation and evolution in reinforced elastomers? (ii) How are those mechanisms controlled by the loading and kinematic conditions applied to the contact? (iii) What is the spatial distribution of the local wear rate? (iv) How are the wear rate and wear mechanisms affected by the formulation, material properties and micro-structure of the material?
Our main research hypothesis is that the required insights can be brought by using advanced contact mechanics analysis to complement comprehensive surface damage investigations. The latter will be carried out using innovative dynamic wear tests performed on a wide range of well-controlled and carefully characterized samples. By submitting reinforced elastomers to repeated dynamic loading with high strain rate and strain amplitude, we will test our main hypothesis that the local stress/strain fields which develop as the sample enters the contact primarily determine the wear pattern and the resulting macroscale wear abrasion law. Accordingly, we propose to combine proper wear experiments with advanced experimental and numerical investigation of the in-operando stress/strain field at a sliding interface to better understand and characterize the local driving forces responsible for wear evolution.
The WEEL project is organized in four different Work Packages. In WP1, well-defined representative reinforced elastomer samples will be elaborated. WP2 will be devoted to the local wear analysis of samples in kinematic conditions relevant for tire durability. WP3 will consist of a coupled experimental and numerical study of the local contact area and strain state for the same conditions as WP2. WP4 will synthetize the results to establish a physically-based predictive constitutive model for the abrasion wear of reinforced elastomers.
The WEEL project is a consortium of 3 partners, 2 public laboratories and one company member of an industrial group: LTDS (Laboratoire de Tribologie et Dynamique des Systèmes, CNRS – Ecole Centrale de Lyon); IMP (Polymer Materials Engineering, CNRS – INSA Lyon); Solvay Silica (Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or). The 3 partners have different, complementary fields of expertise. They have already had strong collaboration in the past.
The main result of the WEEL project will be an improved wear model of reinforced elastomers. By identifying the key material and mechanical parameters at play, the model will allow proposing innovative materials with increased/optimized wear resistance, i.e. enhanced durability, while of course keeping other performances such as energy dissipation and adherence at high level. Although it addresses a topic of high potential applicative impact, the WEEL project is mainly fundamental. However, since industry-relevant tribological conditions (materials, contact kinematics) will be used, it is also expected to pave the way for accelerated tests to predict the lifetime of reinforced elastomers in real conditions.
For the first time, a truly multidisciplinary approach shall be applied to this complex problem, combining: advanced mechanical engineering; physico-chemistry and material science; advanced contact mechanics and physics; modelling; multiscale physical analysis.

Project coordination

Jean Luc Loubet (Laboratoire de Tribologie et Dynamique des Systèmes)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LTDS Laboratoire de Tribologie et Dynamique des Systèmes

Help of the ANR 507,906 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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