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Published March 2015 | public
Journal Article Open

Collective behavior of viscoelastic asperities as a model for static and kinetic friction


We propose a statistical model for static and sliding friction between rough surfaces. Approximating the contact between rough surfaces by the contact of an ensemble of one-dimensional viscoelastic elements with a rough rigid surface, we study the collective behavior of the elements. We find that collective response of the contacts can lead to macroscopic behavior very different from the microscopic behavior. Specifically, various observed features of friction emerge as collective phenomena, without postulating them directly at the microscale. We discuss how parameters in our model can be related to material and surface properties of the contacting surfaces. We compare our results to commonly used rate and state phenomenological models, and propose a new interpretation of the state variable.

Additional Information

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Received 23 March 2014; Received in revised form 29 August 2014; Accepted 14 October 2014; Available online 3 December 2014. We gratefully acknowledge the support for this study from the National Science Foundation (grant EAR 1142183) and the Terrestrial Hazards Observations and Reporting center (THOR) at Caltech. We are grateful to Jim Barber and Houman Owhadi for fruitful discussions. S.H. thanks Prof. Ronald Fox and Jeff Amelang for their help.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023