On the Use of Ultrasound Waves to Monitor the Local Dynamics of Friction Joints

L. Pesaresi, A. Fantetti, F. Cegla, L. Salles, C. W. Schwingshackl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Friction joints are one of the fundamental means used for the assembly of structural components in engineering applications. The structural dynamics of these components becomes nonlinear, due to the nonlinear nature of the forces arising at the contact interface characterised by stick-slip phenomena and separation. Advanced numerical models have been proposed in the last decades which have shown some promising capabilities in capturing these local nonlinearities. However, despite the research efforts in producing more advanced models over the years, a lack of validation experiments made it difficult to have fully validated models. For this reason, experimental techniques which can provide insights into the local dynamics of joints can be of great interest for the refinement of such models and for the optimisation of the joint design and local wear predictions. In this paper, a preliminary study is presented where ultrasound waves are used to characterise the local dynamics of friction contacts by observing changes of the ultrasound reflection/transmission at the friction interface. The experimental technique is applied to a dynamic friction rig, where two steel specimens are rubbed against each other under a harmonic tangential excitation. Initial results show that, with a controlled experimental test procedure, this technique can identify microslip effects at the contact interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Contact stiffness
  • Friction
  • Hysteresis loops
  • Microslip
  • Ultrasounds


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