The planar dynamics of a rough block in nominally stationary or sliding contact with a counter-surface is studied in this work. Starting with the Greenwood-Williamson model of a rough surface, the analysis of elastic contact deflections is extended to accommodate angular as well as normal motions. The real area of contact and the normal contact force are obtained in terms of the relative approach and orientation of the surfaces. It is shown that angular and normal motions at frictional contacts are generally coupled. The contact area and normal contact force are shown to be nonlinearly related to the normal and angular motions. However, the contact area remains proportional to the normal load, even in the presence of angular motions. When the friction force is assumed to be proportional to the real area of contact, the coefficient of sliding friction will be unchanged by small relative rotations between the sliding bodies. Based on this contact and friction model, the nonlinear equations of motion that describe the planar contact vibrations of a sliding block can be written directly. Although a detailed analysis of the stability and response characteristics of these nonlinear equations is beyond the scope of the present work, a limited comparison of calculations and measurements taken on both stationary and sliding blocks indicate that the small amplitude contact vibrations are reasonably well captured by the model developed in this work.

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