A number of experimental studies [1–3] revealed that the normal displacement in a contact of rough surfaces due to asperities presence is a nonlinear function of local pressure and it can be approximated by a power function of pressure. Originally, a linear mathematical model accounting for surface roughness of elastic solids in contact was introduced by I. Shtaerman [4]. He assumed that the effect of asperities present in a contact of elastic solids can be essentially replaced by the presence of a thin coating simulated by an additional normal displacement of solids’ surfaces proportional to a local pressure. Later, a similar but nonlinear problem formulation that accounted for the above mentioned experimental fact was proposed by L. Galin. In a series of papers this problem was studied by numerical and asymptotic methods [5–9]. The present paper has a dual purpose: to analyze the problem analytically and to provide some asymptotic and numerical solutions. The results presented below provide an overview of the results obtained on the topic and published by the author earlier in the journals hardly accessible to the international tribological community (such as Russian and mathematical journals) and, therefore, mostly unknown by tribologists. A number of recent publications on contacts of rough elastic solids supports the view that these results are still of value to the specialists involved in nanotribology. The existence and uniqueness of a solution of a contact problem for elastic bodies with rough (coated) surfaces is established based on the variational inequalities approach. Four different equivalent formulations of the problem including three variational ones were considered. A comparative analysis of solutions of the contact problem for different values of initial parameters (such as the indenter shape, parameters characterizing roughness, elastic parameters of the substrate material) is done with the help of calculus of variations and the Zaremba-Giraud principle of maximum for harmonic functions [10,11]. The results include the relations between the pressure and displacement distributions for rough and smooth solids as well as the relationships for solutions of the problems for rough solids with fixed and free contact boundaries. For plane and axially symmetric cases some asymptotic and numerical solutions are presented.

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