Journal of Theoretical
and Applied Mechanics

50, 2, pp. 509-530, Warsaw 2012

The modelling of loading, unloading and reloading of the elastic-plastic contact of rough surfaces

Robert Kostek
This paper presents a non-linear mathematical model describing the hysteresis of dry contact of rough surfaces loaded in the normal direction. A number of characteristic phenomena appear during the initial loading, unloading and reloading of the contact interface. The contact is most flexible during the first loading, and its plastic deflection is significant, whereas the characteristic curve of unloading is stiffer and is mainly elastic in nature. The reloading characteristic is similar to the unloading characteristic, and thus a hysteresis loop is observed. The non-linear model of contact presented in this paper, which has been validated by experimental data, describes the aforementioned phenomena. The model is dedicated to the finite element method (FEM), the discrete element method (DEM), and simulations of multi-body systems (MBS), where accurate and effective contact models are preferred. The presentation of the model is supported by examples of applications to contact problems.
Keywords: contact model; elastic-plastic; rough surface; hysteresis