The evolution of the contact surfaces wear may become particularly important in the definition of the frictional behavior, in particular for frictional contact problems involving large slips, typically in sheet metal forming and bulk forming operations. Despite this fact, most of the current applications reported in the literature are restricted to a standard Coulomb law, using a constant friction coefficient. Such simple models may represent only a limited range of tribological situations and it appears to be necessary to develop a class of models which incorporate the state conditions and their evolution at the contact surfaces, taking into account the influence of complex phenomena such as wear, lubrication and chemical reactions, among others, see Oden and Martins . In this paper a simple numerical model for the simulation of frictional wear behavior, within a fully nonlinear setting, including large slip and finite deformation, is presented. The model relies on the introduction of an internal variable related to the state conditions at the contact surface. Here, two possible definitions of this internal variable have been considered. The fully nonlinear frictional contact formulation, entirely derived first on a continuum setting by Laursen and Simo [2–6], has been extended here to accomodate the characterization of the wear frictional behavior.
Within the computational aspects, two families of robust time stepping algorithms, arising from an operator split of the constrained frictional evolution equations, are discussed. Finally, following current approaches, see Lassen , Lassen and Bay , Owen et al. , de Souza et al. , Stromberg et al.  and Stromberg , a long-term tools wear prediction is given by introducing an a priori wear estimate derived from Archard's law, Archard .
The numerical model has been implemented into a enhanced version of the computational finite element program FEAP. Numerical examples show the suitability of the proposed model to capture the essential features of the frictional behavior at the contact interfaces and to provide a prediction of tool wear in forming operations.