Stiffness of frictional contact of dissimilar elastic solids Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 The classic Sneddon relationship between the normal contact stiffness and the contact size is valid for axisymmetric, frictionless contact, in which the two contacting solids are approximated by elastic half-spaces. Deviation from this result critically affects the accuracy of the load and displacement sensing nanoindentation techniques. This paper gives a thorough numerical and analytical investigation of corrections needed to the Sneddon solution when finite Coulomb friction exists between an elastic half-space and a flat-ended rigid punch with circular or noncircular shape. Because of linearity of the Coulomb friction, the correction factor is found to be a function of the friction coefficient, Poisson's ratio, and the contact shape, but independent of the contact size. Two issues are of primary concern in the finite element simulations adequacy of the mesh near the contact edge and the friction implementation methodology. Although the stick or slip zone sizes are quite different from the penalty or Lagrangian methods, the calculated contact stiffnesses are almost the same and may be considerably larger than those in Sneddon's solution. For circular punch contact, the numerical solutions agree remarkably well with a previous analytical solution. For non-circular punch contact, the results can be represented using the equivalence between the contact problem and bi-material fracture mechanics. The correction factor is found to be a product of that for the circular contact and a multiplicative factor that depends only on the shape of the punch but not on the friction coefficient or Poisson's ratio.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, J. H., Gao, Y., Bower, A. F., Xu, H., & Pharr, G. M.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Jin Haeng||Gao, Yanfei||Bower, Allan F||Xu, Haitao||Pharr, George M

publication date

  • March 2018