A simple method is presented for determining the tangential force-displacement relationship between two elastically identical generally curved bodies when the tangential force is not directed along either of the principal axes of the contact patch. It is shown that with one suitable assumption the desired solution of the general problem can be derived using the available closed form solutions for the particular cases where the tangential force is directed along one or other of the principal axes of contact. The analysis was motivated by a study of wire rope behavior, but has potential applications in several other fields.

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