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Roughness-Induced Adhesion

Antonio Papangelo's picture

Usually, roughness destroys adhesion and this is one of the reasons why the "adhesion paradox", i.e. a "sticky Universe", is not real. However, at least with some special type of roughness, there is even the case of adhesion enhancement, as it was shown clearly by Guduru, who considered the contact between a sphere and a wavy axisymmetric single scale roughness, in the limit of short-range adhesion (JKR limit). Here, the Guduru's problem is numerically solved by using the Boundary Element Method (BEM) with Lennard-Jones interaction law, which allowed us to explore the contact solution from the rigid to the JKR limit. It is shown that adhesion enhancement stops either for low Tabor parameter, or by large waviness amplitudes, due to the appearance of internal cracks within the contact patch. We do not seem to find a clear threshold for "stickiness" (complete elimination of adhesion), contrary to other recent theories on random roughness. The enhancement effect is well captured by an equation in terms of the Johnson parameter derived by Ciavarella-Kesari-Lew, and is much larger than the Persson-Tosatti enhancement in terms of increase of real contact area due to roughness. The Persson-Tosatti energetic argument for adhesion reduction seems to give a lower bound to the effective work of adhesion.

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