Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 275–290 | Cite as

Diffusion of Carbon in Steel Grippers Due to Cyclic Contact Stress

  • Oommen Thomas
  • Narayanan V. N. Namboothiri
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


The stress-assisted diffusion of carbon atoms due to high-stress cyclic loading of serrations on a case-hardened steel gripper, leading to the redistribution of carbon near the surface of the serrations is explored in this paper. An elastic plastic finite element model coupled with simulation of stress-assisted diffusion of carbon is employed for the study. Kinematic hardening rule is used to estimate the dissipated plastic strain energy due to the contact stress and these results are transferred to the nodes of a very fine square grid. Potential gradient due to dissipated plastic strain energy coupled with modified Fick’s law are employed to simulate the stress-assisted diffusion of carbon near the surface of a serration on the gripper jaw. Measures for quantifying the redistribution of carbon are introduced, and the effect of the number of cycles and loading condition on the redistribution of carbon in steel are explored.


Modeling Steel Finite element method Finite difference method Stress-assisted diffusion Cyclic strain Contact 

List of symbols


Concentration of carbon


Coefficient of diffusion


Spatial span of grid

i, j

Spatial coordinates


Boltzmann’s constant


Time step


Activation energy for diffusion


Gas constant




Absolute temperature


Potential driving the diffusion


Stress, equivalent stress


Yield stress


Equivalent plastic strain


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cochin University of Science and TechnologyKochiIndia

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