Abstract: In the framework of the elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication simulation algorithms of lubricated coupled surfaces, a key role is the used deformation model, since its choice affects the surfaces’ separation which guarantees the existence of a thin lubricant film thickness, even when the tribo-system is subjected to high loads. The aim of this paper was to merge a finite element linear deformation model based on linear tetrahedra, previously developed by the same authors, within the Reynolds equation solver in the elasto-hydrodynamic mode, with reference to a generic ball in socket lubricated tribo-system. The implementation of the finite element deformation model allowed the authors to relate the deformation vector to the pressure one through an influence matrix which takes into account the spherical motion of the ball with respect to the socket. The computer code for the problem solution was written in Matlab environment and simulated particular conditions, in terms of eccentricity and angular velocity vectors, in order to calculate the meatus fluid pressure field, surfaces’ separation, shear stresses, deformation and wear depth. The integration over time of the output fields led to the time evolution of the load vector, the friction torque vector and the wear volume. The obtained results showed a satisfactory agreement with others classical approaches found in the scientific literature.
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