The study of the contact stresses generated when two surfaces are in contact plays a significant role in understanding the tribology of contact pairs. Most of the present contact models are based on the statistical treatment of the single asperity contact model. For a clear understanding about the elastic-plastic behavior of two rough surfaces in contact, comparative study involving the deterministic contact model, simplified multi-asperity contact model, and modified statistical model are undertaken. In deterministic contact model analysis, a three dimensional deformable rough surface pressed against a rigid flat surface is carried out using the finite element method in steps. A simplified multi-asperity contact model is developed using actual summit radii deduced from the rough surface, applying single asperity contact model results. The resultant contact parameters like contact load, contact area, and contact pressure are compared. The asperity interaction noticed in the deterministic contact model analysis leads to wide disparity in the results. Observing the elastic-plastic transition of the summits and the sharing of contact load and contact area among the summits, modifications are employed in single asperity statistical contact model approaches in the form of a correction factor arising from asperity interaction to reduce the variations. Consequently, the modified statistical contact model and simplified multi-asperity contact model based on actual summit radius results show improved agreement with the deterministic contact model results.

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