Deterministic contact modeling based on half-space theories has satisfied a wide range of applications. However, the half-space theories themselves do not involve shape effects of roughness on Green's functions/influence coefficients; in deterministic rough-surface contact analyses, the roughness is considered in gap function. This approach can be called the “roughness simplification”. One needs to answer two questions about the validity of the roughness simplification: How appropriate is the roughness simplification in modeling rough-surface contacts? How accurate can the commonly-included contact-plasticity behavior be captured under the roughness simplification? This work utilized a double-scale representation of an asperity--a microscopic deformable asperity stacked on a deformable half-space, to obtain their combined contact responses in both elastic and plastic regimes. The deformation and contact behaviors of asperities thus configured were obtained with finite element method (FEA) and rough-surface half-space contact solvers. Three stages of asperity contact were discovered: the Hertzian stage, the single-region elastoplastic stage, and the two-region elastoplastic stage where the surrounding base material also takes part in the contact. The comparisons of contact deformation and pressure results from both the FEA and half-space contact solvers support the validity of the half-space theories with the roughness simplification for various ellipsoid-shape asperities with circular-bases in both elastic and elastoplastic rough-surface asperity modeling. The research also reveals that when significant plastic deformations occur, asperities with different aspect ratios can bear different maximum elastoplastic contact pressures.

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