This paper is concerned with the solution of the contact problem that results when a rigid punch is pressed into the surface of an inhomogeneously elastic solid comprising three distinct layers. The upper and lower layers of the solid are assumed to be homogeneous and are joined together by a functionally graded interlayer whose material properties progressively change from those of the coating to those of the substrate.

By applying the Fourier transform to the governing boundary value problem (BVP), we may write the stresses and displacements within the solid in terms of indefinite integrals. In particular, the expressions for the horizontal and vertical displacements of the solid surface are used to formulate a coupled pair of integral equations which may be solved numerically to approximate the solution of the stamp problem. A selection of numerical results are then presented which illustrate the effects of friction on the contact problem and it is found that the presence of friction within the contact increases the magnitude of the maximum principal stress and changes its location. These observations indicate that material failure is much more likely to occur when friction is present within the contact as expected.

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