Mechanistic driving force for martensite decay in rolling contact fatigue

Predrag Andric*, Sebastián Echeverri Restrepo, Junbiao Lai, Cornelis H. Venner, Erik Vegter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


Martensite decay due to large scale microstructural alterations is the main fatigue process which occurs during extensive rolling contact fatigue in bearing applications. Despite its practical and scientific importance, the full description of the controlling phenomena is still incomplete. Here, we demonstrate that the main mechanistic driving force for martensite decay comes from the positive components of the principal subsurface stress tensor. Such a conclusion is derived using the concept of Continuum Damage Mechanics where the damage rate is controlled by the elastic energy release and plastic strain range. Modeling results are compared with experiments and a good quantitative agreement is obtained. The analysis presented here illuminates the mechanistic reasons on why the fastest material decay occurs at the depth corresponding to the so-called maximum orthogonal shear stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108470
JournalTribology international
Early online date5 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Continuum Damage Mechanics
  • Elastic energy release
  • Martensite decay
  • Rolling contact fatigue
  • 2024 OA procedure


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