If a linear elastic system with frictional interfaces is subjected to periodic loading, any slip which occurs generally reduces the tendency to slip during subsequent cycles and in some circumstances the system ‘shakes down’ to a state without slip. It has often been conjectured that a frictional Melan’s theorem should apply to this problem — i.e. that the existence of a state of residual stress sufficient to prevent further slip is a sufficient condition for the system to shake down. Here we discuss recent proofs that this is indeed the case for ‘complete’ contact problems if there is no coupling between relative tangential displacements at the interface and the corresponding normal contact tractions. By contrast, when coupling is present, the theorem applies only for a few special two-dimensional discrete cases. Counter-examples can be generated for all other cases. These results apply both in the discrete and the continuum formulation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.