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.
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