Rolling pairs with shifting contact geometry: Design, development, and validation

Pedro Amoroso*, Ron A.J. van Ostayen, Matthijn B. de Rooij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This work introduces two innovative rolling pair concepts to minimize slippage and reduce mass in cam-roller systems of large-scale hydraulic drivetrains: The variable contact length and the Shifting Contact Geometry concepts. Both aim to improve traction in the low contact force phase in cyclically loaded rolling contacts. The shifting contact geometry concept was validated using three custom rolling contacts: a line contact, a double elliptical contact, and a combination of both (i.e., shifting contact geometry). The tests were conducted under synchronized cyclic loading to mimic the conditions in a hydraulic drivetrain. Furthermore, a model from previous work was implemented to make predictions and compare them against the experimental results. During preliminary tests, the double elliptical contact displayed superior tractive behavior than the line contact under the same load thanks to higher contact pressures. Under synchronized cyclic loading, the line contact displayed high sensitivity to applied resisting torques at low contact forces, leading to high slide-to-roll ratios and traction force peaks. In contrast, the rolling pair with shifting contact geometry exhibited minimum slippage even under high resisting torques, resulting in substantially lower (and in most cases negligible) slide-to-roll ratio and traction force peaks. The simulations also captured this behavior, proving the validity of the model for predicting and comparing the rolling-sliding dynamics of these two different rolling pairs. This study demonstrates that rolling pairs with shifting contact geometry can not only improve the tribological performance of cam-roller contacts in large-scale hydraulic drivetrains but also yield a more favorable dynamic behavior.

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • cam
  • drivetrain
  • elliptical
  • geometry
  • hydraulic
  • Large
  • line
  • roller
  • rolling
  • scale
  • shifting
  • sliding
  • slippage
  • traction


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