Pastewka and Robbins (2014, “Contact Between Rough Surfaces and a Criterion for Macroscopic Adhesion,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 111(9), pp. 3298–3303) recently have proposed a criterion to distinguish when two surfaces will stick together or not and suggested that it shows quantitative and qualitative large conflicts with asperity theories. However, a comparison with asperity theories is not really attempted, except in pull-off data which show finite pull-off values in cases where both their own criterion and an asperity based one seem to suggest nonstickiness, and the results are in these respects inconclusive. Here, we find that their criterion corresponds very closely to an asperity model one (provided we use their very simplified form of the Derjaguin–Muller–Toporov (DMT) adhesion regime which introduces a dependence on the range of attractive forces) when bandwidth α is small, but otherwise involves a root-mean-square (RMS) amplitude of roughness reduced by a factor α. Therefore, it implies that the stickiness of any rough surface is the same as that of the surface where practically all the wavelength components of roughness are removed except the very fine ones.

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