An elastic-plastic asperity model for analyzing the contact of rough surfaces is presented. The model is based on volume conservation of an asperity control volume during plastic deformation. Numerical results obtained from this model are compared with other existing models that are either purely elastic or purely plastic. It is shown that these models are limiting cases of the more general elastic-plastic model presented here. Some of the results obtained deviate appreciably from previous analyses which do not consider asperity volume conservation.

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