Nonlinear normal contact vibrations, excited by the application of a dynamic normal load to the contact region formed between rough surfaces, are studied using the method of multiple scales. The planar rough surface is described by the Greenwood and Williamson model. The contact region behaves as a nonlinear spring in parallel with a viscous damper, and supports a rigid mass. It is shown that the average contact separation in the presence of dynamic loading is greater than the static separation under the same average load. In contrast to some previous results, this increase in average separation does not result in a significant change in the average friction force.

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