This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A study of the prediction of vibration-induced fretting corrosion in electrical contacts




Chen, Chen

Type of Degree



Mechanical Engineering


It is generally recognized that fretting corrosion is one of the major failure mechanisms in electrical contacts. The negative effects of fretting corrosion were found in many areas such as aerospace, automobile, electrical packaging, etc. In recent years, much of the research work has focused on the causes of fretting corrosion, the mechanism of this phenomenon, and its prevention. However, nowadays, most evaluation of the connector fretting corrosion is conducted through exhaustive experiments, making the connector design and validation process time consuming and costly. Therefore, a new method using modeling and simulation techniques to predict the influence of various design factors on vibration-induced fretting propensity in electrical connectors would be very beneficial to the study of the fretting corrosion. In the author's work, a series of studies concerned with the modeling, analysis and experimental validation of vibration-induced fretting corrosion of electrical connector were conducted. A FEA based methodology was developed and optimized to predict and simulate the vibration-induced fretting corrosion on both typical single blade/receptacle connector pair. A series of corresponding experiments were then performed to evaluate its performance. Comparison between 2-D simplified and 3-D detailed modeling and analysis method were conducted. The 3-D detailed simulation was proved to be more accurate but requires larger computational cost. The influences of different connector design factors were investigated in both simulation and experiments. The relative motion at contact interface was proved to be a great indicator for the threshold of fretting corrosion. Finally, the simulation results were found to be in good agreement with experimental results. It is demonstrated that, this finite element modeling and analysis method have great potential in predicting of the vibration-induced fretting corrosion in electrical contacts.