Local variations in asperity dimensions (rippling) of elastohydrodynamic (EHD) pressure are calculated using Christensen’s stochastic model of the hydrodynamics of heavily loaded two-dimensional contacts between rough surfaces. Pressure ripple amplitudes of the order of the maximum Hertz pressure, i.e., well in excess of 105 psi (69.107 N/m2) are predicted at the inlet perimeter of the EHD contact plateau and at the upstream slope of the exit constriction for heavily loaded contacts, if the plateau film thickness to rms roughness ratio is h/σ = 2. Pressure ripple amplitudes in excess of 104 psi (69.106 N/m2) are probable even for the thick film condition h/σ = 10. Sliding traction rippling is calculated for small slide/roll velocity ratios in the same type of contact, and ripple amplitudes in excess of the mean value of the traction are predicted in the high pressure EHD plateau region of the contact for h/σ = 3. The predicted traction ripple amplitude exceeds 30 percent of the mean traction, even for h/σ = 6. Rippling increases the average traction over that for smooth surfaces. Both the pressure and traction rippling may contribute to surface plastic flow and fatigue.

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