The stress distributions associated with frictionless and smooth surfaces in contact are rarely experienced in practice. Factors such as layers, friction, surface roughness, lubricant films, and third body particulate are known to influence the state of stress and the resulting rolling contact fatigue life. A numerical technique for evaluating the subsurface stresses arising from the two-dimensional sliding contact of two elastic bodies with real rough surfaces has been developed, where an elastic body contacts with a multi-layer surface under both normal and tangential forces. The presence of friction and asperities within the contact region causes a large, highly stress region exposed to the surface. The significance of these near-surface stresses is related to modes of surface distress leading to surface eventual failure (Mao et al., 1997).

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