Spectral analysis of two-dimensional contact problems

Y. Ju, T. N. Farris

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Contact problems can be converted into the spatial frequency domain using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) techniques. Spectral analysis is used to develop an algebraic relationship between the surface displacement and the contact pressure. This relationship can be used to find the contact pressure or displacement for the contact of smooth surfaces or the complete contact of rough surfaces. In addition to providing rapid, robust solutions to contact problems, the algebraic relationship contains details of the relationship between surface displacement and contact pressure on different length scales. In particular, it is shown that the frequency composition of pressure is similar to that for slope of the surface displacement. Thus, the high frequency content of the surface profile gives rise to high localized contact pressure, in some cases singular pressure for complete contact. However, measurement limitations always lead to the omission of certain high frequency components of the surface profile. Assuming that the high frequency content of the surface profile obeys a power law, spectral analysis is also used to estimate partial contact parameters. This result relates the exponent of the power law to the contact pressure and implied surface integrity. It is concluded that spectral analysis can be combined with the FFT to provide a useful technique for classifying rough surface contacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (Paper)
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1995 Jt. ASME/STLE Tribology Conference - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Oct 8 1995Oct 11 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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