It is customary to simplify the analysis of contact between two elastically deformable bodies by treating an equivalent problem where only one body is deformable and the other is rigid. This is possible provided that the gap geometry and the effective elastic modulus of the bodies in the simplified problem are the same as in the original problem. However, the question arises on whether – and to which extent – the simplification is still valid even when (size-dependent) plasticity occurs. Studies using discrete dislocation plasticity have also, so far, addressed simple contact problems where only one body can deform plastically. Here, we extend the analysis to two bodies in contact that can both deform by dislocation plasticity and investigate under which conditions the response agrees with that of an equivalent simplified problem. The bodies in contact are metal single crystals with sinusoidal and flat surface. It is found that the response of two plastically deformable bodies in contact can be simplified to an equivalent problem where one body is rigid and the other can deform plastically. Also, a plasticity size effect is observed, but the effect fades when the platen becomes more plastically deformable.
- equivalent system
- size effect