Employing a moving template finite element strategy, a simulation scheme was developed to model the surface flaw propagation process associated with the mechanical fatigue wear of elastomer surfaces. Special emphasis was given to (1) experimentally establish the potential existence of precursor flaws on the surface of unworn and worn molded rubber products; (2) determine the trajectory of propagation of surface cracks and their effects on particle removal; (3) establish the influence of size and orientation of initial flaws; and (4) determine the effects of the various phases of the asperity-flaw passing process. These various issues are described in a series of parametric sensitivity studies.

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