A new method to calculate the elastic deformation of a sphere on a flat surface is presented. The model considers the influence of short-range as well as long-range attractive forces both inside and outside the actual contact area. In contrast to earlier models, this theory describes the nature of these deformations in the intermediate regime between the so-called JKR and DMT limits by simple analytic expressions. Equations for the calculation of the contact radius, the deformation, and the pressure distribution are given. In all equations, the critical force that might vary between the limiting values found in the DMT and the JKR model acts as transition parameter.

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