A small tangential force and a small torsional couple are applied across the elliptic contact surface of a pair of elastic bodies which have been pressed together. If there is no slip at the contact surface, considerations of symmetry and continuity lead to the conclusion that there is no change in the normal component of traction across the surface and, aside from warping of the surface, there is no relative displacement of points on the contact surface. The problem is thus reduced to a “problem of the plane” in which the tangential displacements and normal component of traction are given over part of the boundary and the three components of traction are given over the remainder. In the case of the tangential force it is observed that, when Poisson’s ratio is zero, the problem is a simple one, in potential theory, which is then generalized by means of a special device. An expression for tangential compliance is found as a linear combination of complete elliptic integrals. In general, the compliance is greater in the direction of the major axis of the elliptic contact surface than in the direction of the minor axis. Both components of tangential compliance increase as Poisson’s ratio decreases and become equal when Poisson’s ratio is zero. Over the practical range of Poisson’s ratio, the tangential compliance is greater than the normal compliance, but never more than twice as great as long as there is no slip. The tangential traction on the contact surface is everywhere parallel to the applied force. Contours of constant traction are ellipses homothetic with the elliptic boundary. The magnitude of the traction rises from one half the average at the center of the contact surface to infinity at the edge. Due to this infinity, there will be slip, the effect of which is studied for the circular contact surface. In the case of the torsional couple, the solution is obtained by generalizing a solution by H. Neuber pertaining to a hyperbolic groove in a twisted shaft. The torsional compliance is expressed in terms of complete elliptic integrals and, for the circular contact area, reduces to that found by E. Reissner and H. F. Sagoci. The resultant traction at a point rises from zero at the center to infinity at the edge of the contact surface, but is constant along and parallel to homothetic ellipses only in the case of the circular contact area.

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