The results of two-dimensional approach using real variable method to Hertz’s problem of contact of elastic bodies are presented. Both normal and tangential loads are assumed to be distributed in Hertzian fashion over the area of contact. The magnitude of the intensity of the tangential load is assumed to be linearly proportional to that of the normal load when sliding motion of the body is impending. The stresses in the elastic body due to the application of these loads on its boundary are presented in closed form for both plane-stress and plane-strain cases. A numerical value of f = 1/3 is assumed for the linear proportionality (coefficient of friction) between the tangential and normal loads in order that the distribution of stresses may be illustrated. The significance of the stress distribution, across the contact area and in the body, is also discussed. It is shown that when the combination of loads considered in the paper are applied at the contact area of bodies in contact the maximum shearing stress may be at the surface instead of beneath the surface. For example, for plane strain, if the coefficient of friction is f = 1/3, the maximum shearing stress is at the surface and is 43 per cent larger than the maximum shearing stress, which would be below the surface, that occurs when the normal force acts alone. The effect of range of normal stress and of shearing stress on the plane of maximum shear and on the plane of maximum octahedral shear on failure by progressive fracture (fatigue) is discussed.

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