An investigation is made of the phenomena occurring at the contact surfaces of like elastic spheres subjected to a variety of applied forces. Owing to the presence of slip, with its associated energy dissipation and permanent set, the changes in tractions and displacements depend not only upon the initial state of loading, but upon the entire past history of loading and the instantaneous relative rates of change of the normal and tangential forces. On the basis of three of the simplest cases of varying oblique forces, a set of rules of procedure is assembled and then applied to two types of problems. In the first, the initial tangential compliances are calculated for a variety of past histories and instantaneous rates of loading; in the other, a detailed history of a varying oblique force is investigated.

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