A model of asperity interactions in elastic-plastic contact of rough surfaces

Y. Zhao, L. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


This paper presents a micro-contact model incorporating asperity interactions in elasticplastic contact of rough surfaces. The effect of the asperity interactions on the local deformation behavior of a given micro-contact is first modeled based on the Saint-Venant's Principle and Love's Formula. The local contact interference is related in closed form to the local contact load, the global mean pressure and material parameters. This micro-contact model equation is then integrated into the elastic-plastic contact model developed in Zhao et al. (2000) to allow the asperity interactions and plastic deformation to be considered simultaneously. The effects of the asperity interactions on the mean surface separation, the real area of contact and the redistribution of the contact load among contacting asperities of different heights are studied. The results show that the asperity interactions can significantly affect the mean surface separation and microcontact load redistribution. The results also reveal that the effect of asperity interactions can be largely cancelled out by the effect of asperity plastic deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-864
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Tribology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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