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The adhesion of metals is a complicated function of bulk and surface properties. Experiments, performed to define and evaluate the properties which influence the adhesive behavior of contacting bodies, showed that the interaction of the metal with its environment, the nature of any resulting contaminants formed on its surface, and certain mechanical properties (e.g., tensile strength, penetration hardness, and ductility) related to the plastic and elastic properties of the material were most important. To assess the influence of these properties, the adhesion of initially clean surfaces, generated by fracturing metals in an ultra-high vacuum, was monitored as a function of carefully controlled test parameters — material, gaseous environment, exposure time, load, contact time or load duration, temperature, and vibration.
Gilbreath, William P.
NASA, Ames Research Center,