Contact mechanics / Tribology

Our group investigates Contact Mechanics at length scales ranging from the atomic to macroscopic scales, relevant to Civil or Mechanical Engineering applications and to Earthquake Science.

Nanotechnology is a new frontier in research and new tools must be developed. As surface to volume ratios become large, engineering at the nanoscale becomes dominated by surface science. The study of Contact Mechanics at nanoscales -nanotribology- needs to fully account for adhesive forces, third-body interactions and deformation mechanisms at contacting asperities. Understanding these factors as well as the morphological evolution of contact clusters has the potential of explaining the origins of frictional forces and wear. This will guide us in the design of tailored-made lubricants and surface morphologies, which, in turn, will help reduce the high societal cost of wear damage.

On the macroscopic scale, our group studies the propagation of interface ruptures. Our research focuses on the mechanical understanding of mechanisms observed on natural faults during earthquakes and on laboratory friction experiments. ERC logo



Selected Publications

R. Aghababaei; T. Brink; J.-F. Molinari : Asperity-Level Origins of Transition from Mild to Severe Wear; Physical Review Letters. 2018-05-04. DOI : 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.186105.
L. Frérot; R. Aghababaei; J.-F. Molinari : A mechanistic understanding of the wear coefficient: From single to multiple asperities contact; Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids. 2018-02-28. DOI : 10.1016/j.jmps.2018.02.015.
L. Frérot; M. Bonnet; J.-F. Molinari; G. Anciaux : A Fourier-accelerated volume integral method for elastoplastic contact. 2018.
A. Vakis; V. Yastrebov; J. Scheibert; L. Nicola; D. Dini et al. : Modeling and simulation in tribology across scales: An overview; TRIBOLOGY INTERNATIONAL. 2018. DOI : 10.1016/j.triboint.2018.02.005.
V. A. Yastrebov; G. Anciaux; J.-F. Molinari : On the accurate computation of the true contact-area in mechanical contact of random rough surfaces; Tribology International. 2017. DOI : 10.1016/j.triboint.2017.04.023.