Submicron-scale experimental analyses of the multi-asperity contact behaviour of various steels, an aluminium alloy and a polymer

B. Brodnik Žugelj, M. Kalin

Tribology international. Jan. 2020, vol. 141, p 1-8.


The real contact area and asperity deformations are studied in an experiment with submicron resolution for different materials and roughnesses. When the contact pressure is normalized to the yield strengths of the materials, the metals behave similarly. They show low contact areas, at most 12–25% of the nominal value, and small asperity deformations of 40–57% of the maximum peak height, at yield stress, both depending on roughness. The polymer contact area is up to 70% of the nominal value at the yield, independent of the roughness. The asperity deformations depend on the roughness and are, for smooth surfaces, comparable to those of metals, while for rough surfaces they are up to 60% larger than for metals.


Keywords: Asperity contact Real contact area Different materials Submicron experiment

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