An improved elastic contact stiffness model for a single asperity system is proposed to account for the effects of both bulk substrate and asperity deformations between two contacting surfaces. Depending upon the applied load, as well as the geometrical and physical properties of the asperity and bulk material, the bulk substrate can have a considerable contribution to the overall contact stiffness. Finite element analysis is performed to verify the proposed analytical model. The single asperity model is extended to rough surfaces in contact. The contact stiffness values from the proposed model are compared to those from the GW model. The proposed contact model can be directly relevant to analyze the contact behavior of modern patterned media.

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