By J. Halling

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This is. a very important result since it means that contact pressures in excess of the yield value for the material do not result in plastic deformation, so that higher loads than might have been expected can be carried elastically with hertzian type contacts. Moreover, it will be recognised that even when yielding has taken place below the surface, very little plastic deformation can occur because the plastic zone is constrained by elastic material on all sides. 8 Actual isochromatics obtained for the contact of a cylinder and a plane due to norma/load alone As the load is increased further, the plastic zone will increase in size and ultimately spread to the surface of the body.

From the foregoing description it can be appreciated that the surfaces of metals can be as complicated as the surface of the earth and, obviously, in order to make a precise assessment of their topographic features, threedimensional maps are needed. Unfortunately, simple methods for producing such maps have not yet been developed, and for the time being we must rely on a two-dimensional profile of the surface together with observations using the various microscopic techniques which are discussed later.

3 The Distribution of the Peaks, Valleys, Curvatures and Slopes Surface profiles might be considered as comprising a certain number of peaks of varying heights and an equal number of valleys of varying depths. These features may therefore be assessed and represented by their appropriate distribution curves which can be described by the same sort of characteristics as were used previously for the all-ordinate distributions, for example, aP and av are the standard deviations of the peak and valley distributions.

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