A numerical simulation technique for calculating the pressure distribution and the deformed geometry of an elastic half-space which has a hard surface layer in contact with a rigid indenter with a rough surface is presented. In order to reduce the computing time, the Conjugate Gradient Method (CGM) is applied to solve a set of linear equations for unknown pressures. In each iteration of the CGM, the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is used for the task of multiplying a direction vector by an influence coefficient matrix. An FFT-based scheme for evaluating subsurface stresses in the layer and the substrate is also presented. As an example, the pressure distribution and the deformed geometry of a steel surface coated with a TiN layer in contact with a rigid rough indenter are calculated. The subsurface stresses are also compared with von Mises yield criterion to investigate the deformation mode at the asperity contacts. The results show that the limit of elastic contact is highly dependent on the layer thickness and the surface roughness.

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