AROMA uses a boundary-element formulation to calculate normal and shear pressure distributions and sub-surface stresses for elastic bodies in contact. In addition to handling static normal and sheer loading, it also solves the contact problem for rolling elements such as bearings, traction drives, and wheel-to-rail interfaces. AROMA is a powerful and flexible tool for studying the tractive forces that arise during rolling in combination with kinematic effects, such as creepage and spin that are related to rolling element alignment. This GUI-based tool was developed in MATLAB, and can run within the MATLAB environment or as a standalone application.

AROMA determines the relationship between applied loads and deflections (for the static case), or creepages (for the rolling case), calculates the normal and shear traction pressures at the interface between the two bodies, and calculates the subsurface stress field due to the interface pressures. These capabilities aid designers in specifying contact part geometry and tolerances, as well as identifying alignment precision requirements for rollers and bearings. AROMA can also be used by structural analysts to calculate stress margins for contact loading cases where classical Hertzian analysis is inadequate.

This work was done by Justin McFatter of The Boeing Company; and Thomas Farris, Matthew Gean, and Lucas Robinson of Tribomech for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Technology Transfer Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-25162-1

Motion Control & Automation Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2015 issue of Motion Control & Automation Technology Magazine.

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