Sphere and cylinder contact mechanics during slip

J. Wang, A. Tiwari, I. M. Sivebaek, B. N.J. Persson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Using molecular dynamics (MD) we study the dependency of the contact mechanics on the sliding speed when an elastically soft slab (block) is sliding on a rigid substrate with a sin(q0x) surface height profile. The atoms on the block interact with the substrate atoms by Lennard-Jones potentials. We consider contacts with and without adhesion. The contact area and the friction force are nearly velocity independent for small velocities (v < 0.25 m/s) in spite of the fact that the shear stress in the contact area is rather non-uniform. For the case of no adhesion the friction coefficient is very small. For the case of adhesion the friction coefficient is higher, and is mainly due to energy dissipation at the opening crack tip, where rapid atomic snap-off events occur during sliding. We comment on the role of elastic non-linearity on the change in the contact area with increasing tangential force.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104094
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adhesion
  • Contact mechanics
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Slip


Dive into the research topics of 'Sphere and cylinder contact mechanics during slip'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this