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Slip Dynamics at an Interface Between Dissimilar Materials

Kunnath Ranjith, & James R. Rice

Published February 2001, SCEC Contribution #612

It has been shown recently that steady frictional sliding along an interface between dissimilar elastic solids with Coulomb friction acting at the interface is ill-posed for a wide range of material parameters and friction coefficients. The ill-posedness is manifest in the unstable growth of interfacial disturbances of all wavelengths, with growth rate inversely proportional to the wavelength. We first establish the connection between the ill-posedness and the existence of a certain interfacial wave in frictionless contact, called the generalized Rayleigh wave. Precisely, it is shown that for material combinations where the generalized Rayleigh wave exists, steady sliding with Coulomb friction is ill-posed for arbitrarily small values of friction. In addition, intersonic unstable modes and supersonic steady-state modes exist for sufficiently large values of the friction coefficient. Secondly, regularization of the problem by an experimentally motivated friction law is studied. We show that a friction law with no instantaneous dependence on normal stress but a simple fading memory of prior history of normal stress makes the problem well-posed.

Ranjith, K., & Rice, J. R. (2001). Slip Dynamics at an Interface Between Dissimilar Materials. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 49(2), 341-361.