This study compares the flattening and indentation approaches for modeling single asperity contacts in order to reveal quantitatively their different behaviors in terms of the constitutive relationships for the contact parameters and deformation regimes. The comparison is performed with four empirical models recently developed for flattening and indentation based on the finite element method. In the elasto-plastic regime, the classic Hertz solution does not hold and, therefore, different mechanical behavior was obtained for flattening and indentation cases. Consequently, the contact condition and relative strength of mating surfaces should be considered when choosing between indentation or flattening models.
A Comparison of Flattening and Indentation Approaches for Contact Mechanics Modeling of Single Asperity Contacts
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Jackson, R. L., and Kogut, L. (August 18, 2005). "A Comparison of Flattening and Indentation Approaches for Contact Mechanics Modeling of Single Asperity Contacts." ASME. J. Tribol. January 2006; 128(1): 209–212. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2114948
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