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On the role of scales in contact mechanics and friction between elastomers and randomly rough self-affine surfaces

Popov, Valentin L.; Dimaki, Andrey V.; Psakhie, Sergey; Popov, Mikhail

FG Systemdynamik und Reibungsphysik

The paper is devoted to a qualitative analysis of friction of elastomers from the point of view of scales contributing to the force of friction. We argue that – contrary to widespread opinion – friction between a randomly rough self-affine fractal surface and an elastomer is not a multiscale phenomenon, but is governed mostly by the interplay of only two scales – as a rule the largest and the smallest scales of roughness of the contacting bodies. The hypothesis of two-scale character of elastomer friction is illustrated by computer simulations in the framework of the paradigm of Greenwood, Tabor and Grosch using a simplified one-dimensional model.