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Instability of Adhesion Force Between Rough Surfaces



Michael Nosonovsky, Seung H. Yang, Huan Zhang


Adhesion force has a significant effect upon the contact of rough surfaces with nanoscale asperities. The dominant component of the adhesion force is the capillary force caused by condensed water menisci. The capillary force depends upon the meniscus shape and dimensions. We show that a small change in surface roughness may result in a big change of the meniscus geometry and, consequently, of the adhesion force. This instability has been overlooked by conventional contact mechanics models that consider adhesion. Based on the minimum free energy principle, we develop a general expression for the capillary force between rough surfaces and examine it numerically with a case of simple geometry. The model is further compared with experimental data on adhesion between a rough colloidal probe in contact with a flat surface. The comparison confirms that the adhesion force between rough surfaces is not stable.
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A-Statistics in Society


adhesion, capillary force, meniscus, rough surfaces


Nosonovsky, M. , Yang, S. and Zhang, H. (2017), Instability of Adhesion Force Between Rough Surfaces, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A-Statistics in Society (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created February 19, 2017