The Elastic Contact of Rough Spheres

[+] Author and Article Information
J. A. Greenwood, J. H. Tripp

Burndy Corporation Research Division, Norwalk, Conn.

J. Appl. Mech 34(1), 153-159 (Mar 01, 1967) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3607616 History: Received May 17, 1966; Online September 14, 2011


The Hertzian theory of elastic contact between spheres is extended by considering one of the spheres to be rough, so that contact occurs, as in practice, at a number of discrete microcontacts. It is found that the Hertzian results are valid at sufficiently high loads, but at lower loads the effective pressure distribution is much lower and extends much further than for smooth surfaces. The relevance to the physical-contact theory of friction and electric contact is considered.

Copyright © 1967 by ASME
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