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The underlying mechanisms of the adherence and of the sliding and rolling friction of rubber-like materials are studied at a microscale level, by scrutinizing phenomena occuring inside both static and rolling or sliding contact areas between a single hard transparent spherical or cylindrical asperity and the smooth and flat surface of a soft elastomer sample. Various mechanisms have been studied such as equilibrium conditions and kinetics of adherence of different rigid punches, contact geometry and rolling friction force of a rigid cylinder, static friction, deformation and interfacial phenomena in sliding friction of a spherical asperity, influence of the radius of curvature of a blunt rigid asperity in sliding contact, stages of formation of re-attachment folds, conditions for the appearance of detachment waves, friction of silica filled compounds and the onset of wear.
elastomers, adherence, rupture mechanics, static friction, sliding friction, rolling friction, wear
Research Director, French Centre of the Scientific Research, ESPCI, Paris,