Michele Ciavarella, Antonio Papangelo

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The coefficient of friction due to bulk viscoelastic losses corresponding to multiscale roughness can be computed with Persson's theory. In the search for a more complete understanding of the parametric dependence of the friction coefficient, we show asymptotic results at low or large speed for a generalized Maxwell viscoelastic material, or for a material showing power law storage and loss factors at low frequencies. The ascending branch of friction coefficient at low speeds highly depends on the rms slope of the surface roughness (and hence on the large wave vector cutoff), and on the ratio of imaginary and absolute value of the modulus at the corresponding frequency, as noticed earlier by Popov. However, the precise multiplicative coefficient in this simplified equation depends in general on the form of the viscoelastic modulus. Vice versa, the descending (unstable) branch at high speed mainly on the amplitude of roughness, and this has apparently not been noticed before. Hence, for very broad spectrum of roughness, friction would remain high for quite few decades in sliding velocity. Unfortunately, friction coefficient does not depend on viscoelastic losses only, and moreover there are great uncertainties in the choice of the large wave vector cutoff, which affect friction coefficient by orders of magnitudes, so at present these theories do not have much predictive capability.


Roughness, Contact Mechanics, Rubber Friction, Persson's Theories, Adhesion

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