Narrow and wide contacts are simulated in this study by considering, respectively, a flat and a sector loaded against a circular disk. In turn, an artificial intermediate film simulates the interfacial film or third body commonly found in dry friction. Normal and tangential stress fields have been determined using a combined photoelastic and interferometric technique. Contact stress distributions are obtained under pure normal load or normal load and torque. Displacements are also calculated at contact from these fields using methods of complex potentials in plane elasticity. Results show that in the cases studied, from a theoretical solid mechanism point of view, the boundary conditions observed are satisfied by considering that there is no relative displacement over the contact zone which is common to two successive load steps.

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