This work determines the location of the greatest elastic distress in cylindrical contacts based upon the distortion energy and the maximum shear stress theories. The ratios between the maximum pressure, the von Mises stress, and the maximum shear stress are determined and fitted by empirical formulations for a wide range of Poisson ratios, which represent material compressibility. Some similarities exist between cylindrical and spherical contacts, where for many metallic materials the maximum von Mises or shear stresses emerge beneath the surface. However, if any of the bodies in contact is excessively compressible the maximum von Mises stress appears at the surface. That transitional Poisson ratio is found. The critical force per unit length that causes yielding onset, along with its corresponding interference and half-width contact are derived.

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