Accurate Real Area of Contact Measurements on Polyurethane

[+] Author and Article Information
C. P. Hendriks, M. Visscher

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

J. Tribol 117(4), 607-611 (Oct 01, 1995) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2831523 History: Received September 15, 1993; Revised September 10, 1994; Online January 24, 2008


Theoretical models describing the contact of rough surfaces have been developed for at least three decades. Experimental verification, however, has not been straightforward up till now, since current measurements suffer from large inaccuracies, often 100 percent or worse. In this paper a new method, based on autofocus techniques, is applied with an accuracy better than 15 percent. Measurements are presented for the contact of a rough polyurethane specimen in contact with a smooth glass plate. It was not yet possible to conclude whether the real area of contact is proportional to the contact load, but the results show the forming of contact agglomerations, which becomes significant at 10 percent real area of contact. Asperity interaction appears to be important, even at low loads. However, one or both of these facts are often not considered in present contact models, questioning their reliability.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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