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Contact resistance has been used to characterize the processes of physical contact in metallic systems with ultra clean surfaces. The contact resistance versus load curves of iron and two cobalt alloys were used to demonstrate the existence of surface work hardening and interfacial creep during contact as well as the fracture characteristics of an interfacial junction as the load is removed. The presence of an adsorbed film of hydrogen or hydrogen ions on iron completely changes the contact process. A comparison of the contact resistance versus load data for ultra pure iron, an iron-cobalt alloy and a cobalt molybdenum-chromium was used to illustrate the effect of substrate mechanical properties on static adhesion and the ability to convert these data for the estimation of the dynamic coefficient of friction under the particular experimental conditions.