Prediction of the failure behaviour in steel cable reinforced rubber components using the Finite Element Method

Siegfried Martin Frankl

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Reinforced rubber components are omnipresent and widely used. The damping properties, frictional behaviour, and the large tolerable elastic deformation are indispensable for industrial applications. High-loaded components such as springs, dampers, hydraulic hoses, and conveyor belts are reinforced with steel wires or steel cables. A total failure of such components usually leads to a standstill of the entire system. A component repair or replacement is required to continue operation. Therefore, it is essential to increase the lifetime of such components. To increase lifetime, the modes and causes of failure need to be known. In reinforced rubber, debonding of the reinforcement/rubber interface and rubber fracture out of the interface occur and lead to ultimate failure. The ability to predict failure enables the optimisation of such components to increase lifetime. In this work, concepts to predict failure in steel cable reinforced conveyor belts using fracture mechanics are presented. Therefore, the stress and strain fields for later use in fracture mechanics are determined using Finite Element Method (FEM) models. A FEM model captures the mechanical load occurring in a conveyor belt test rig on a global scale. The mechanical response of the steel cables during tension, bending, and torsion due to their wound structure is captured using special modelling approaches. For later use of fracture mechanics on the local scale, more accurate stress and strain fields are evaluated using a submodel. A fracture-mechanical concept is used to predict debonding at the steel cable ends. Predicting rubber fracture out of the interface is a big issue and leads to a high computational effort. Therefore, a concept based on configurational forces is developed to predict rubber fracture more efficiently. The presented concepts are crucial steps to predict failure in conveyor belts. In the future, the concepts can be adapted and applied in the 3D case to predict failure in conveyor belts. Such a fracture-mechanical procedure is general and can be transferred to other reinforced rubber components.
Translated title of the contributionVorhersage des Versagensverhaltens von stahlseilverstärkten Gummibauteilen mit der Finite-Elemente-Methode
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Schuecker, Clara, Supervisor (internal)
  • Pettermann, Heinz, Assessor A (external), External person
  • Pippan, Reinhard, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Hutař, Pavel, Assessor B (external), External person
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Finite Element Method
  • reinforced rubber components
  • interface cracks
  • crack propagation
  • configurational forces

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