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A simple mechanism is sought to account for the frictional energy losses encountered in the mutual contact surface of two bodies pressed normally against each other. The mathematical model of Coulomb friction is assumed valid, and it is shown that slip between the contacting surfaces develops in the outlying regions of contact. This model, used in conjunction with a numerical scheme, leads to a set of nonlinear simultaneous algebraic equations in the surface tractions. Two specific cases are computed: those of a rigid sphere and of a rigid roller each pressed against an elastic medium. The relative size of the slip region is shown to depend on the material properties. Energy dissipation during a half contact cycle is calculated, and the influence of the secondary adhesive tractions on the contact stresses is discussed.
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