Three dimensional elastic-plastic contact of a nominally flat rough surface and a flat is considered. The asperity level Finite Element based constitutive equations relating contact force and real contact area to the interference is used. The statistical summation of asperity interaction during unloading phase is derived in integral form. Approximate equations are found that describe in closed form contact load as a function of mean plane separation during unloading. The approximate equations provide accuracy to within 6 percent for the unload phase of the contact force.

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