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Asperity Microcontact Model

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Yongwu Zhao 1

From Elastic Deformation to

Fully Plastic Flow

David M. Maietta

This paper presents an elastic-plastic asperity microcontact model for contact between

two nominally flat surfaces. The transition from elastic deformation to fully plastic flow of

L. Chang the contacting asperity is modeled based on contact-mechanics theories in conjunction

with the continuity and smoothness of variables across different modes of deformation.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The relations of the mean contact pressure and contact area of the asperity to its contact

The Pennsylvania State University, interference in the elastoplastic regime of deformation are respectively modeled by

University Park, PA 16802 logarithmic and fourth-order polynomial functions. These asperity-scale equations are

then used to develop the elastic-plastic contact model between two rough surfaces,

allowing the mean surface separation and the real area of contact to be calculated as

functions of the contact load and surface plasticity index. Results are presented for a wide

range of contact load and plasticity index, showing the importance of accurately modeling

the deformation in the elastoplastic transitional regime of the asperity contacts. The

results are also compared with those calculated by the GW and CEB models, showing that

the present model is more complete in describing the contact of rough surfaces.

(1992) attempted to perform an experimental verification of the

It is well recognized that when two nominally smooth surfaces

GW model and found that the model is surprisingly good at

are pressed together, the load is borne by the contacting asperities

predicting elastic contact phenomena. However, when the applied

on both surfaces. Study of the deformation behavior of contacting

load exceeds about half of the yield point load, the results pre-

asperities and accurate modeling of the contact between rough

dicted by the GW model severely deviate from the experimental

surfaces is important for insightful understanding of the mecha-

results.

nisms of friction, wear, lubrication, frictional heating, and electri-

A number of researchers studied rough-surface contacts charac-

cal contact resistance.

terized by plastic deformation of asperities. Abbott and Firestone

The contact of rough surfaces has been studied by many re-

(1933) developed the most widely used model for a fully plastic

searchers. The pioneering contribution to this field was made by

contact, known as the surface microgeometry model. This model

Greenwood and Williamson (1966), who developed a basic elastic

assumes that the deformation of a rough surface against a rigid

contact model (GW model). In their model, a rough surface was

smooth flat is equivalent to the truncation of the undeformed rough

represented by a population of hemispherically-tipped asperities of surface at its intersection with the flat. As a result, the real area of

identical radius of curvature with their height following a Gaussian the contact is simply the geometrical intersection of the flat with

distribution. With a further assumption of elastic (Hertzian) and the original undeformed profile of the rough surface, and the

independent microcontacts between this rough surface and a rigid contact pressure is the flow pressure. Based on the experimental

smooth surface, the relations for the true area of contact and the observations of Williamson and Hunt (1972), Pullen and William-

total load as a function of the separation between the flat and the son (1972) established a volume conservation model for the fully

mean asperity level were derived. The basic asperity GW model plastic contact of rough surfaces. However, these two plastic

has been extended to cover the case of other contact geometries, models may only be suitable for very heavily-loaded contacts.

such as curved surfaces (Greenwood and Tripp, 1967), surfaces To bridge the two extreme approaches of modeling contacts as

with non-uniform radii of curvature of asperity peaks (Whitehouse fully elastic or fully plastic, Chang et al. (1987) put forward an

and Archard, 1970) and (Hisakado, 1974), two rough surfaces with elastic-plastic contact model for rough surfaces on the basis of

misaligned asperities (Greenwood and Tripp, 1971), elliptic pa- volume conservation of plastically deformed asperities (CEB

raboloidal asperities (Bush et al., 1975) and anisotropic surfaces model). The model, based on the same principal assumptions of

(Bush et al., 1979). By numerical comparisons of the GW model the GW model, is applied to the entire deformation range, from

with other more general isotropic and anisotropic models, McCool fully elastic to fully plastic. However, this model has several

(1986) suggested that the GW model, despite its simplicity, can shortcomings. The first one is the discontinuity in the contact load

give good results. However, the GW model has its own limitation at the critical point of the initial yielding. At this point, the average

in that it can only be used in the contact problems of rough contact pressure is allowed to jump from 2/3KH in the elastic

surfaces with low plasticity index, in which the majority of con- regime to KH in the plastic regime, where H is the hardness of the

softer material and K is the maximum contact pressure factor.

1

Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Automotive Engineering, Tianjin Another shortcoming is that this model allows only two possible

University, Tianjin, China. states of deformation for a contacting asperity, either fully elastic

Contributed by the Tribology Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL or fully plastic; the transition from elastic to plastic deformation is

ENGINEERS and presented at the STLE/ASME Tribology Conference, Orlando, Fl,

October 10 –13, 1999. Manuscript received by the Tribology Division February 1,

not modeled. However, according to Johnson’s (1985) analysis of

1999; revised manuscript received May 19, 1999. Paper No. 99-Trib-21. Associate the indentation of a sphere on a plane, the contact load must be

Technical Editor: M. D. Bryant. increased 400 times from the point of initial yielding to the state of

86 / Vol. 122, JANUARY 2000 Copyright © 2000 by ASME Transactions of the ASME

fully plastic flow, which suggests that the elastoplastic transitional

regime is very long and thus significant. Finally, the results of the

CEB model show that the mean separation is larger and the real

area of contact smaller for the elastic-plastic contact than for the

elastic contact at the same plasticity index and contact load. This

result is contradictory to the experimental results of Powierza et al.

(1992) and physical intuition that the elastic contact should exhibit

a higher stiffness than the elastoplastic contact. Horng (1998)

extended the CEB model to the more general case of elliptic

asperities, but the aforementioned shortcomings were not ad-

dressed. On the other hand, Kucharski et al. (1994) proposed a

model for the contact of rough surfaces based on a finite-element

Fig. 1 Contact of an asperity with a rigid smooth flat

analysis of contact between an elastoplastic sphere and a rigid

plane. Their numerical results show that the CEB model predicts

larger approach and real contact area ratio at the same load. Why

the opposite results are predicted by the CEB model in the two The results obtained by McCool (1986) for anisotropic rough

papers has not been explained as yet and should be clarified. surfaces with random distribution of asperity radii differ negligibly

This paper presents a new elastic-plastic asperity contact model from those of the GW model. The interaction among contacting

for rough surfaces. Its main feature is the modeling of the long asperities and bulk deformation may be important. They are com-

transitional regime from elastic deformation to fully plastic flow. plex problems and, to the authors’ knowledge, have not been

The results of subsequent asperity-contact analyses show that the adequately addressed in previous publications. Efforts are cur-

elastoplastic contact of asperities plays an important part in the rently being made to develop a model which considers asperity

macrocontact behavior of rough surfaces. interactions.

Since the contact of two rough surfaces can be represented by

Modeling the model of an equivalent single rough surface in contact with a

smooth surface, only the contact between a rough surface and a

The following assumptions are made in the asperity contact rigid smooth flat is considered. The formulation of the model is

model to be developed: first presented for the contact of a single asperity and then ex-

1. The asperity distribution is isotropic. tended to the contact of surfaces with many asperities.

2. Asperities are, at least near their summits, spherical. 1 Contact of a Single Asperity With a Rigid Smooth Sur-

3. Asperity summits have a uniform radius R, but their heights face. Consider the contact between one asperity and a rigid

vary randomly. smooth flat, as shown in Fig. 1. Let z and d stand for the height of

4. The interactions among contacting asperities are neglected. the asperity and the mean separation between the two surfaces,

5. Only the asperities deform during contact and no bulk respectively. Then, the contact interference is given by

deformation occurs.

⫽z⫺d (1)

These assumptions are essentially the same as those made in the

GW and CEB models. Successive research on asperity-based mod- The interference is an important variable that measures the

els has shown that assumptions (1), (2) and (3), despite their extent of the asperity deformation. The contact pressure and con-

extreme simplicity, do not greatly limit the generality of the model. tact area of the asperity are fully determined by this interference.

Nomenclature

A e ⫽ elastic contact area of an asperity K ⫽ maximum contact pressure factor y *s ⫽ y s /

A ep ⫽ elastoplastic contact area of an N ⫽ total number of asperities z ⫽ height of asperity measured from

asperity Pa ⫽ mean contact pressure the mean of asperity heights

A p ⫽ plastic contact area of an asperity Pm ⫽ maximum contact pressure z* ⫽ dimensionless height of asperity,

A et ⫽ elastic contact area of two rough R ⫽ radius of curvature of an asperity z/

surfaces we ⫽ elastic contact load of an asperity  ⫽ R

A ept ⫽ elastoplastic contact area of two w ep ⫽ elastoplastic contact load of an ⫽ area density of asperities

rough surfaces asperity 1,2 ⫽ Poisson’s ratios

A pt ⫽ plastic contact area of two rough wp ⫽ plastic contact load of an asperity ⫽ standard deviation of surface

surfaces wy ⫽ critical contact load at the point heights

A n ⫽ nominal contact area of two rough of initial yield s ⫽ standard deviation of asperity

surfaces wf ⫽ critical contact load at the point heights

A t ⫽ total real area of contact, A et ⫹ of fully plastic flow ⫽ distribution function of asperity

A ept ⫹ A pt W et ⫽ elastic contact load of two rough heights

d ⫽ separation based on asperity surfaces * ⫽ dimensionless distribution function

heights W ept ⫽ elastoplastic contact load of two ⫽ plasticity index

d* ⫽ dimensionless mean separation, rough surfaces ⫽ interference

h/ W pt ⫽ plastic contact load of two rough * ⫽ dimensionless interference, /

E⬘ ⫽ equivalent Young’s modulus surfaces 1 ⫽ critical interference at the point of

H ⫽ hardness of softer material Wt ⫽ total contact load, W et ⫹ W ept ⫹ initial yield

h ⫽ separation based on surface W pt *1 ⫽ 1/

heights ys ⫽ distance between the mean of 2 ⫽ critical interference at the point of

h* ⫽ dimensionless mean separation, asperity heights and that of sur- fully plastic flow

h/ face heights *2 ⫽ 2/

k ⫽ mean contact pressure factor

The asperity will experience three distinct deformation stages as Or

冉 冊 冉 冊

increases: elastic, elastic-plastic and fully plastic. The following

sections develop formulations for the mean contact pressure and 3H 2

4 3 kH 2

2 ⬎ R⫽ R (13)

real area of contact of the asperity as functions of during the 2E k2 4E

three deformation stages.

Substituting Eq. (8) into the above expression yields,

(1) Elastic Contact. The asperity deforms elastically when

is sufficiently small. According to the Hertz theory for the elastic 2 ⬎ 4 1 /k 2 (14)

contact of a flat with a sphere of radius R (Timoshenko and With k ⫽ 0.4, one obtains

Goodier, 1951), the contact area A e , contact load w e , maximum

contact pressure P m and mean contact pressure P a of the asperity 2 ⬎ 25 1 (15)

can be expressed in terms of as

Inequality (15) suggests that the interference required to produce

Ae ⫽ R (2) fully plastic flow of the asperity is at least 25 times that at initial

yielding.

w e ⫽ 共 34 兲ER 1/2 3/2 (3) The minimum value of 2 may also be further estimated using

experimental results. Based on the work of Johnson (1985), fully

P m ⫽ 共2E/ 兲共 /R兲 1/2 (4) plastic deformation occurs when the contact force at fully plastic

deformation, w f , is about equal to 400 times that at initial yielding,

Pa ⫽

2

3

Pm ⫽

4E

3 冉冊

R

1/2

(5)

w y . Or,

w f /w y ⫽ 400 (16)

It was shown by Tabor (1951) that, when the maximum Hertz Using Eq. (3), which is valid for elastic contact, the following

contact pressure reaches P m ⫽ 0.6H, or, the average contact expressions are obtained for w f and w y :

pressure P a ⫽ 0.4H, the initial yielding occurs. For a more

general form we can correlate the mean contact pressure P a at the w y ⫽ 共 34 兲ER 1/2 13/2 (17)

point of initial yielding with the hardness by

and

p a ⫽ kH (6)

w f ⱕ 共 34 兲ER 1/2 23/2 (18)

The critical interference, 1, at the point of initial yielding can be

expressed in terms of the parameters of the contacts. Equation (5) Dividing inequality (18) by Eq. (17) yields

is rewritten to give

共 2 / 1 兲 3/2 ⱖ w f /w y ⫽ 400 (19)

⫽

3pa

4E 冉 冊 2

R (7) Or

2 ⱖ 54 1 (20)

Then, substituting Eq. (6) into Eq. (7), yields

This expression suggests that the contact interference at the onset

1 ⫽ 冉

3 kH

4E 冊 2

R (8)

of fully plastic deformation would be at least 54 times that at initial

yielding.

When ⬍ 1, the contact is elastic. When ⱖ 1, the contact is (3) Elastoplastic Contact. When the interference is between

either elastoplastic or fully plastic. 1 and 2, i.e., 1 ⬍ ⬍ 2, the asperity deforms elastoplasti-

cally. Since the total deformation is composed of a mixture of the

(2) Fully Plastic Contact. When is increased to another elastic and plastic deformations in this stage, the relations for the

critical value 2 at which the mean contact pressure P a of the contact area A ep and mean contact pressure P a as functions of the

asperity reaches the value of H, fully plastic deformation occurs. interference become complex. The functional relations are mod-

During the stage of fully plastic deformation ( ⱖ 2), the mean eled below based on results from other researchers in conjunction

contact pressure P a remains constant at H. Or with insights into the physical nature of the asperity contact.

First, the relation between P a and is derived. Francis (1976)

Pa ⫽ H (9) presented the following function for the contact in the elastoplastic

transitional regime based on a statistical analysis of spherical

The contact area, according to Abbott and Firestone (1933), is indentations:

equal to the geometrical intersection of the flat with the original

undeformed profile of the asperity. Or Pa h/b

⫽ C 1 ⫹ C 2 ln (21)

YR Y R /E

Ap ⫽ 2R (10)

where P a is the mean contact pressure, Y R the unaxial flow stress

The contact load w p of the asperity is equal to the contact area of the material, h the displacement of the contact center, b the

multiplied by the mean contact pressure. Or radius of the contact area, and C 1 and C 2 are the regression

constants. Equation (21) suggests a logarithmic relationship be-

wp ⫽ 2RH (11)

tween the contact pressure P a and the geometrical parameter h/b.

While no solid expression for 2 is known, the minimum value Therefore, the dependence of P a on in the regime of the

of this critical contact interference may be estimated based on a elastoplastic deformation of the asperity may analogously be char-

simple analysis. At ⫽ 2, the load carried by the contact is equal acterized by the following logarithmic function:

to 2 R 2 H by Eq. (11). On the other hand, the load carried by the

P a ⫽ a 1 ⫹ a 2 ln 共 /a兲 (22)

contact at ⫽ 2, had it been elastic, would be equal to ( 34) ER 1/ 2 ⫻

23/ 2 by Eq. (3). Therefore, the following inequality is established: where a 1 and a 2 are two constants to be determined and a is the

contact radius of the asperity. The ratio /a corresponds to the

2 R 2 H ⬍ 共 34 兲E 1/2 3/2 (12) geometrical parameter h/b for the case of spherical indentation.

The relation between a and within the transitional regime may

be established from the a ⫺ relations for the two extremes of

elastic and fully plastic deformations. These two relations are

respectively given by (Johnson, 1985),

a ⫽ 共 R兲 1/2 共 ⱕ 1兲 (23)

a ⫽ 共2 R兲 1/2

共 ⱖ 2兲 (24)

Therefore, when the asperity deforms elasto-plastically, the fol-

lowing relation is expected

a ⫽ 共C R兲 1/2 (25)

where C is a variable coefficient having a value between one and

two. Substituting Eq. (25) into Eq. (22), the mean contact pressure

P a may be expressed as:

Fig. 2 Relation between the real area of contact and interference in the

P a ⫽ a 3 ⫹ a 4 ln (26) elastoplastic transitional regime

the functional parameters to be determined.

The continuity between P a and requires that the mean contact

pressure P a in the elastoplastic transitional regime be equal to that in the ⫺ 1

elastic regime at ⫽ 1. It also requires P a to be equal to the fully plastic x⫽ (33)

2 ⫺ 1

contact pressure at ⫽ 2. Then Eqs. (6), (9), and (26) lead to

The function output must then be scaled by the distance between

a 3 ⫹ a 4 ln 1 ⫽ kH (27) the top and bottom of the quadrilateral on the A ep ⫺ plane,

which represent the asperity contact areas at the fully plastic and

and fully elastic states. The scaled function is translated by adding it to

a 3 ⫹ a 4 ln 2 ⫽ H (28) the fully elastic A e ⫺ function, as shown in Fig. 2. The

transformation results in the following expression:

By simultaneously solving Eqs. (27) and (28), the parameters a 3

and a 4 in Eq. (26) are determined in terms of the properties of the A ep ⫽ R ⫹ 共2 R ⫺ R 兲

冋 冉 冊 冉 冊册

contact to give

⫺ 1 3

⫺ 1 2

⫻ ⫺2 ⫹3 (34)

ln 2 2 ⫺ 1 2 ⫺ 1

a 3 ⫽ H ⫺ H共1 ⫺ k兲 (29)

ln 2 ⫺ ln 1

This expression is then algebraically simplified to yield the desired

and A ep ⫺ function through the elastoplastic transitional regime:

H共1 ⫺ k兲

冋 冉 ⫺ 1

冊 冉 ⫺ 1

冊册

3 2

a4 ⫽ (30) A ep ⫽ R 1 ⫺ 2 ⫹3 (35)

ln 2 ⫺ ln 1 2 ⫺ 1 2 ⫺ 1

Therefore, the relation between the mean contact pressure and the Equation (35) is a fourth-order polynomial in . It satisfies the four

contact interference in the regime of the elastoplastic deformation boundary conditions and is a monotonically increasing function

is given by within 1 ⱕ ⱕ 2.

Finally, using Eqs. (31) and (35), the contact load (w ep ⫽

ln 2 ⫺ ln P a A ep ) of the asperity in the regime of elastoplastic deformation

P a ⫽ H ⫺ H共1 ⫺ k兲 (31)

ln 2 ⫺ ln 1 can be expressed as a function of the interference by

Next, the relation between contact area A ep and contact inter-

ference is derived. This relation may be modeled by a polyno- 冋

w ep ⫽ H ⫺ H共1 ⫺ k兲 册

ln 2 ⫺ ln

ln 2 ⫺ ln 1

冋 冉 冊 冉 冊册

mial smoothly joining the expressions for A e and A p as functions

of . The domain of the polynomial is from 1 to 2. It should ⫺ 1 3

⫺ 1 2

⫻ 1⫺2 ⫹3 R (36)

monotonically increase and satisfy four boundary conditions: 2 ⫺ 1 2 ⫺ 1

A ep ⫽ A e , dA ep /d ⫽ dA e /d at ⫽ 1 and A ep ⫽ A p ,

dA ep /d ⫽ dA p /d at ⫽ 2. The function may be easily

2 Contact of Two Rough Surfaces. The above theory for

constructed by mapping an appropriate “template” cubic polyno-

the contact of one asperity with a rigid smooth flat may be used to

mial segment into the quadrilateral bounding the transition region

model the elastic-plastic contact between two rough surfaces. If

on the A ep ⫺ plane, as shown in Fig. 2. This template curve is

there are N asperities on a nominal area A n , the expected number

defined by

of asperity contacts will be

冕 冕

y ⫽ ⫺2x 3 ⫹ 3x 2 (32) ⬁ ⬁

0, and y ⫽ 1. The curve passes through the lower left and upper d d

right corners of its bounding box and is tangent to the lower and where is the area density of asperities and (z) the probability density

upper edges of the box at these points. Consequently, the template of the height distribution of the asperities. The total real area of contact A t

curve, when transformed, will satisfy the four stated boundary and load W t are the sum of the contribution of each individual asperity

conditions. The transformation involves translating and scaling over all the microcontacts. These individual contributions may be calcu-

so that ⫽ 1 and ⫽ 2 correspond to x ⫽ 0 and x ⫽ 1, lated by using Eqs. (2) and (3) when ⬍ 1, Eqs. (35) and (36) when

respectively: 1 ⱕ ⬍ 2, and Eqs. (10) and (11) when ⱖ 2, for the particular

asperity in question. Then, for a given mean separation of the surfaces, the Table 1 Surface topographical parameters and plasticity

total real area of contact and load may be calculated by indices

/R 

A t 共d兲 ⫽ A et 共d兲 ⫹ A pt 共d兲 ⫹ A ept 共d兲

⫺4

1.60 ⫻ 10

冕 冕

0.0339 0.7

d⫹ 1 ⫹⬁ 3.02 ⫻ 10 ⫺4 0.0414 1.0

⫽N A e 共z兲dz ⫹ N A p 共z兲dz 6.576 ⫻ 10 ⫺4 0.0476 1.5

1.144 ⫻ 10 ⫺3 0.0541 2.0

d⫹ 2

d

1.77 ⫻ 10 ⫺3 0.0601 2.5

⫹N 冕 d⫹ 2

A ep 共z兲dz

冉冊 冕

d⫹ 1

1/2 h*⫺y s*⫹ 1*

冕 冕

Wt 4

d⫹ 1 ⬁ W *t ⫽ ⫽  * 3/2 *共z*兲dz*

A nE 3 R

⫽ A n R 共z兲dz ⫹ 2 A n R 共z兲dz h*⫺y s*

冕

d d⫹ 2

2H ⬁

冕 冋 冉 冊

⫹ * *共z*兲dz*

d⫹ 2

⫺ 1 3

E

⫹ A n R 1⫺2 h*⫺y s*⫹ 2*

2 ⫺ 1

冕 冋 册

d⫹ 1

H h*⫺y s*⫹ 2*

ln *2 ⫺ ln *

⫹3 冉

⫺ 1

2 ⫺ 1 冊册 2

共z兲dz (38)

⫹

E

h⫺y s*⫹ 1*

1 ⫺ 共1 ⫺ k兲

ln *2 ⫺ ln *1

冋 冉 * ⫺ *1

冊 冉 * ⫺ *1

冊册

3 2

and ⫻ 1⫺2 ⫹3

*2 ⫺ *1 *2 ⫺ *1

W t 共d兲 ⫽ W et 共d兲 ⫹ W pt 共d兲 ⫹ W ept 共d兲 ⫻ * *共z*兲dz* (41)

⫽N 冕 d

d⫹ 1

w e 共z兲dz ⫹ N 冕 ⫹⬁

d⫹ 2

w p 共z兲dz

where

 ⫽ R (42)

冕 d⫹ 2

* ⫽ z* ⫺ h* ⫹ y *s (43)

⫹N w ep 共z兲dz The integrals in Eqs. (40) and (41) may be numerically evaluated

d⫹ 1 with sufficient accuracy using five-point Legendre-Gaussian

冕

quadrature.

d⫹ 1

4

⫽ A n ER 1/2 3/2 共z兲dz

3 Results and Discussion

d

The model developed in this paper is now used to study the

⫹ 2 A n HR 冕 ⬁

d⫹ 2

共z兲dz

contact behavior of two nominally flat surfaces over a range of

contact load and plasticity index. The results are compared with

those predicted by the GW model and the CEB model. Their

physical implications are also discussed.

⫹ A n R 冕 冋 d⫹ 2

d⫹ 1

H ⫺ H共1 ⫺ k兲

ln 2 ⫺ ln

ln 2 ⫺ ln 1

Contact of steel-on-steel surfaces is considered with Young’s

modulus E 1 ⫽ E 2 ⫽ 2.07 ⫻ 10 11 Pa, Brinell hardness H ⫽

1.96 ⫻ 10 9 Pa and Poisson’s ratio 1 ⫽ 2 ⫽ 0.29. The distri-

bution of the asperity heights is assumed to be Gaussian and is

冋 冉 ⫺ 1

冊 冉 ⫺ 1

冊册

3 2

given, in dimensionless form, by

⫻ 1⫺2 ⫹3 共z兲dz (39)

2 ⫺ 1 2 ⫺ 1 *共z*兲 ⫽ 共2 兲 ⫺1/2 共 /R兲 exp关⫺0.5共 / s 兲 2 z* 2 兴 (44)

Equations (38) and (39) may be normalized by dividing by A n and The surface roughness is described by two parameters,  and /R.

A n E, respectively. Furthermore, all the length parameters and Table 1 presents the values of  and /R of different surface

variables in the equations are normalized by . The resulting topographies. These values, taken from the experimental observa-

dimensionless equations are given by tion of Nuri and Halling (1975) for typical engineering surfaces,

were also used in the analysis of CEB model (Chang et al., 1987).

A *t ⫽

At

An

⫽  冕 h*⫺y s*⫹ 1*

h*⫺y s*

* *共z*兲dz*

The surface roughness may also be characterized by the plasticity

index, which is related to the two parameters and material con-

stants of the contact members by (Chang et al., 1987):

⫹ 2  冕 ⬁

* 共z*兲dz

⫽

2E

1.5 kH 冉冊 冉

R

1/2

1⫺

3.717 ⫻ 10 ⫺4

2 冊 1/4

(45)

h*⫺y s*⫹ 2*

The value of k is taken to be 0.4 to be consistent with other

冕 冋 冉 冊

researchers. Then the plasticity index of the contact system can be

h*⫺y s*⫹ 2*

* ⫺ *1 3

calculated and is also given in Table 1 along with the correspond-

⫹  1⫺2

*2 ⫺ *1 ing  and /R. The critical contact interference at the point of fully

h*⫹y s*⫹ 1*

plastic flow of the asperity, 2, is taken to be 54 1 based on Eq.

⫹3 冉 * ⫺ *1

*2 ⫺ *1 冊 2

* *共z*兲dz* (40)

(20).

Figure 3 shows the ratio of the contact area contributed by the

With ⫽ 0.7, the contact area predicted by the present model is

almost identical to that predicted by the GW elastic model, but

slightly larger at higher load, as expected. The CEB model, on the

other hand, predicts a smaller contact area than does the GW

model as the load increases. Thus, the CEB model appears once

again to give physically unreasonable results since the asperity

yielding would require increased contact area to support a given

contact load than otherwise. At ⫽ 1.5 and 2.5, the contact area

predicted by the present model is shown to increasingly deviate

from that by the GW model, especially for higher plasticity index

combined with heavier load. It should be pointed out that the

difference in the area given by the present and GW models is

larger than one might perceive from the figure, as it is plotted on

a log scale. For example, with ⫽ 2.5 and W t /A n E ⫽ 10 ⫺3 , the

present model gives A t /A n ⫽ 8.31 ⫻ 10 ⫺2 while the GW model

gives A t /A n ⫽ 5.53 ⫻ 10 ⫺2 , a 50% increase in the real area of

Fig. 3 Area of elastoplastic asperity contacts as a function of load and contact due to plastic deformations of the asperities. The data in

plasticity index Fig. 4 also show that the contact area predicted by the CEB model

reverses its trend against the values from the other two models as

real area of contact, A ept /A t . The results are presented for a range

of the plasticity index and as a function of the dimensionless

contact load. This area ratio increases with the contact load as well

as with the plasticity index. With a low plasticity index of ⫽ 0.7,

A ept /A t is very small at light loads but increases rapidly beyond a

certain load level. This result reflects the fact that, for relatively

smooth surfaces, the heights of the asperities are concentrated in a

narrow height range. Consequently, the asperity deformations are

mostly elastic in nature at low loads and then become largely

elastoplastic within a small band of higher load. With a large

plasticity index of ⬎ 1.5, on the other hand, a large portion of the

asperities undergo elastoplastic deformation at a very low contact

load. The data in Fig. 3 also suggest that, for typical engineering

surfaces of plasticity index ranging from 0.7 to 2.5, most of the

asperities are in the state of elastoplastic deformation and fully

plastic flow is virtually absent even for very rough surfaces of ⫽

2.5. Thus, accurate modeling of asperity elastoplastic deformation

is important in predicting the contact variables such as the real area

of contact and the mean separation of the surfaces.

Figure 4 shows the calculated dimensionless mean separation of

the surfaces, h/ , as a function of the dimensionless load, W t /

EA n , for three values of the plasticity index, ⫽ 0.7, 1.5 and 2.5.

For comparison, the results predicted by the GW and CEB models

are also presented in the figure. With the low plasticity index of

⫽ 0.7, the surface separation predicted by the present model is

almost identical to that predicted by the GW elastic model for the

entire range of the dimensionless load studied, only slightly lower

at high loads close to W t /EA n ⫽ 10 ⫺3 . This result suggests that the

asperity contacts are mostly elastic or in the very early stage of the

long elastoplastic regime. In contrast, the separation predicted by

the CEB elastic-plastic model departs from the values predicted by

the other two models at high loads, giving a significantly higher

mean separation of the surfaces. This higher separation does not

seem to be physically realistic as the plastic deformation, which is

the main feature of the CEB model, should yield a lower separation

due to the plastic deformation of the contacting asperities. With a

higher plasticity index of ⫽ 1.5, the separation predicted by the

present model is shown to be lower than that predicted by the GW

model, especially at higher contact loads. This departure becomes

more pronounced for rougher surfaces of ⫽ 2.5 as the plastic

deformation of the increasing population of asperity contacts in-

tensifies. The separation calculated by the CEB model is almost

always larger than that given by the GW elastic model, and the

difference is most significant at the intermediate plasticity index of

⫽ 1.5.

Figure 5 presents the calculated real area of contact, A t /A n , as

a function of the dimensionless load, W t /EA n , for the same three

values of the plasticity index. Again, the results obtained using the Fig. 4 Mean separation of the surfaces as a function of load and plas-

GW and CEB models are included for comparison and discussion. ticity index (a) ⴝ 0.7, (b) ⴝ 1.5, (c) ⴝ 2.5

a large portion of the asperity contacts are under plastic deforma-

tion with p a equal to 0.6H by the CEB model, yet the mean contact

pressures of these asperity contacts calculated by the GW elastic

model are still largely below 0.6H. The discontinuities in p a and

dA/d of the CEB model also dictate the calculated real area of

contact shown in Fig. 5. With a low plasticity index such as ⫽

0.70, only a small portion of the asperity contacts become elasto-

plastic even at very high load. Furthermore, these contacts are not

far into the plastic regime, so the contact areas are not significantly

larger than had they been elastic. This fact, in conjunction with a

higher mean surface separation (fewer contacting asperities), ex-

plains why the CEB model predicts smaller real area of contact

than does the GW elastic model at low plasticity index. With a

higher plasticity index, however, more asperity contacts undergo

elastoplastic deformation and the system moves further into the

plastic regime. The excessively rapid increase in the areas of these

contacts is more than enough to compensate for the reduced

number of contacting asperities due to the higher surface separa-

tion, resulting in a larger real area of contact than that given by the

GW model. Nevertheless, the real area of contact calculated by the

CEB model is reasonably close to that given by the present model

for the range of load and plasticity index studied. The coincidental

cancellation of two physically unrealistic effects allows the CEB

model to give reasonable results at higher plasticity index.

It should also be noted that the CEB model predicts smaller

mean separation and larger real area of contact than does the GW

model when plasticity index is extremely high combined with a

high load, as can be seen from Fig. 4(c) and Fig. 5(c). These results

are contrary to statements by Chang et al. (1987) regarding the

mean separation and real area of contact, but qualitatively in

agreement with Kucharski et al. (1994). As a matter of fact, for the

geometry and material properties of the asperities that Kucharski et

al. considered, plastic deformation is the main mode of deforma-

tion, which is equivalent to the case with an extremely high

plasticity index. These facts explain why Chang et al. (1987) and

Kucharski et al. (1994) made two opposite claims regarding the

prediction of the CEB model.

Conclusion

An elastic-plastic asperity microcontact model for rough sur-

faces is presented in this paper. The main feature of the model is

incorporation of the transitional regime from elastic deformation to

fully plastic flow of the asperity. The dependence of the mean

contact pressure and contact area of the asperity on its contact

interference in the elastoplastic transitional regime is modeled by

logarithmic and fourth-order polynomial functions, respectively.

Fig. 5 Real area of contact of the surfaces as a function of load and The relation for the ratio of the elastoplastic contact area versus

plasticity index (a) ⴝ 0.7, (b) ⴝ 1.5, (c) ⴝ 2.5 load is derived. It is shown that the elastoplastic contact of asper-

ities plays an important part in the macrocontact behavior of rough

surfaces. A detailed comparison of the present model with the CEB

model and the GW model is made based on the predicted mean

the plasticity index increases. With ⫽ 1.5, the area becomes

surface separation and the real area of contact for a wide range of

larger than that predicted by the GW model and is about 10 to 20%

plasticity index and contact load. Smaller mean separation and

below that by the present model. With ⫽ 2.5, it eventually

larger real area of contact are predicted by the present model than

exceeds results of the present model by about 10% at the load of

the GW model at any given plasticity index and contact load. The

W t /A n E ⫽ 10 ⫺3 .

results are consistent with experimental observation and physical

The physically unreasonable values of the mean surface sepa-

intuition. Based on the results comparison and analysis, the present

ration and real area of contact predicted by the CEB model are

model is shown to be more complete than both the CEB model and

largely caused by the assumption of abrupt transition from elastic

the GW model in describing the elastic-plastic contact phenomena

deformation to fully plastic flow of the asperity. In the CEB model,

between rough surfaces.

the mean contact pressure is assumed to jump from 2/3KH to KH

(from Eqs. (10), (12), and (27) in Chang et al., 1987) when the

mode of the asperity deformation changes. Furthermore, the rate of Acknowledgment

increase of the contact area with respect to the contact interference, This research was financially supported by the Tribology and

dA/d , is also discontinuous at this point, jumping from R to Surface Engineering Program, the National Science Foundation

2 R. As a result of the abrupt increase in mean contact pressure, through Grant CMS-9501877.

the calculated mean separation of the surfaces is higher than those

given by the GW and present models and the difference is most References

pronounced with an intermediate plasticity index such as ⫽ 1.0 Abbott, E. J., and Firestone, F. A., 1933, “Specifying Surface Quality—A Method

to 1.5 as shown in Fig. 4. With the plasticity index in this range, Based on Accurate Measurement and Comparison,” Mech. Engr., Vol. 55, p. 569.

Bush, A. W., Gibson, R. D., and Thomas, T. R., 1975, “The Elastic Contact of a Kucharski, S., Klimczak, T., Palijaniuk, J., and Kaczmarek, J., 1994, “Finite-

Rough Surface,” Wear, Vol. 35, pp. 87–111. Element Model for the contact of rough surfaces,” Wear, Vol. 177, pp. 1–13.

Bush, A. W., Gibson, R. D., and Keogh, G. P., 1979, “Strong Anisotropic Rough Jeng Haur Horng, 1998, “An Elliptic Elastic-Plastic Asperity Microcontact Model

Surface,” ASME JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY, Vol. 101, pp. 15–20. for Rough Surfaces,” ASME JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY, Vol. 120, pp. 82– 88.

Chang, W. R., Etsion, I., and Bogy, D. B., 1987, “An Elastic-Plastic Model for the Johnson, K. L., 1985, Contact Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, Cam-

Contact of Rough Surfaces,” ASME JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY, Vol. 109, p. 263. bridge.

Francis, H. A., 1976, “Phenomenological Analysis of Plastic Spherical Inden- McCool, J. I., 1986, “Comparison of Models for the Contact of Rough Surfaces,”

tation,” ASME Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology, July, pp. Wear, Vol. 107, pp. 37– 60.

272–281. McCool, J. I., 1986, “Predicting Microfracture in Ceramics via a Microcontact

Greenwood, J. A., and Williamson, J. B. P., 1966, “Contact of Nominally Flat Model,” ASME JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY, Vol. 108, pp. 380 –386.

Surface,” Proc. Roy. Soc. (London), Series A295, pp. 300 –319. Nuri, K. A., and Halling, J., 1975, “The Normal Approach between Rough Flat

Greenwood, J. A., and Tripp, J. H., 1967, “The Elastic Contact of Rough Spheres,” Surfaces in Contact,” Wear, Vol. 32, pp. 81–93.

ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, Vol. 34, pp. 153–159. Powierza, Z. H., Klimczak, T., and Polijanniuk, A., 1992, “On the Experimental

Greenwood, J. A., and Tripp, J. H., 1970 –1971, “The Contact of Two Nominally Verification of the Greenwood-Williamson Model for the Contact of Rough Sur-

Flat Rough Surfaces,” Proc. Instn. Mech. Engrs., Vol. 185, pp. 625– 633. faces,” Wear, Vol. 154, pp. 115–124.

Hisakado, T., 1974, “Effects of Surface Roughness on Contact between Solid Pullen, J., and Williamson, J. B. P., 1972, “On the Plastic Contact of Rough

Surfaces,” Wear, Vol. 28, pp. 217–234. Surfaces,” Proc. Roy. Soc. (London), A327, pp. 159 –173.

Hardy, C., Baronet, C. N., and Tordion, G. V., 1971, “The Elastic-Plastic Inden- Tabor, D., 1951, The Hardness of Metals, Oxford University Press.

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