The fundamental regularities of the evolution of elastic vortices generated in the surface layers of solids under tangential contact loading

Evgeny V. Shilko, Sergey V. Astafurov, Alexandr S. Grigoriev, Alexey Yu Smolin, Sergey G. Psakhie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Conventionally discussed dynamic mechanisms of elastic strain energy redistribution in near-contact surface regions include P and S elastic wave pulses radiating from the contact surface. At the same time, the elastic strain energy can be transferred by localized vortex-like elastic waves (Rayleigh, Love, Stoneley wave, and so on). In the paper, we numerically studied the main features of the formation and propagation of localized vortex-like waves in the surface layers under the contact zone. The study was done using the numerical method of movable cellular automata. We showed that the initial phase of dynamic contact interaction with a nonzero tangential component of contact velocity is accompanied by the formation of a so-called elastic vortex. The elastic vortex is a fully dynamic object, which is characterized by shear stress concentration and propagates at the shear wave speed. We first revealed the ability of the elastic vortex to propagate toward the bulk of the material and transfer elastic strain energy deep into the surface layer in a localized manner. We analyzed the dependence of the direction of vortex propagation on the tangential contact velocity, contact pressure and Young's modulus of the material. The results of the study are important for better understanding the dynamic mechanisms contributing to inelastic strain accumulation or gradual degradation of surface layers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2018



  • Contact interaction
  • Discrete element method
  • Dynamics
  • Elastic vortex
  • Elastic wave
  • Modeling
  • Stress concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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