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An approximate JKR solution for a general contact, including rough contacts

Mike Ciavarella's picture


Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids

Available online 5 March 2018

In Press, Accepted Manuscript — Note to users

 An approximate JKR solution for a general contact, including rough contacts

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In the present note, we suggest a simple closed form approximate solution to the adhesive contact problem under the so-called JKR regime. The derivation is based on generalizing the original JKR energetic derivation assuming calculation of the strain energy in adhesiveless contact, and unloading at constant contact area. The underlying assumption is that the contact area distributions are the same as under adhesiveless conditions (for an appropriately increased normal load), so that in general the stress intensity factors will not be exactly equal at all contact edges. The solution is simply that the indentation is View the MathML source where w is surface energy, δ1 is the adhesiveless indentation, A′ is the first derivative of contact area and P′′ the second derivative of the load with respect to δ1. The solution only requires macroscopic quantities, and not very elaborate local distributions, and is exact in many configurations like axisymmetric contacts, but also sinusoidal waves contact and correctly predicts some features of an ideal asperity model used as a test case and not as a real description of a rough contact problem. The solution permits therefore an estimate of the full solution for elastic rough solids with Gaussian multiple scales of roughness, which so far was lacking, using known adhesiveless simple results. The result turns out to depend only on rms amplitude and slopes of the surface, and as in the fractal limit, slopes would grow without limit, tends to the adhesiveless result – although in this limit the JKR model is inappropriate. The solution would also go to adhesiveless result for large rms amplitude of roughness hrms, irrespective of the small scale details, and in agreement with common sense, well known experiments and previous models by the author.


  • Contact
  • Roughness
  • Adhesion
  • JKR model
  • Persson’s theory
PDF icon jkr_rough6 (1).pdf200.38 KB
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