Article: Xu XJ, Jagota A, Hui CY; (2014) Effects of Surface Tension on the Adhesive Contact of a Rigid Sphere to a Compliant Substrate, Soft Matter, 10(26):4625-4632
Abstract: In problems of indentation of an elastic half-space by a rigid sphere, the effects of surface tension outside the contact zone are not accounted for by classical theories of contact mechanics. However surface tension plays a dominant role in determining the mechanics of this adhesive contact when the half-space becomes very compliant and the sphere is very small. Using a finite element method (FEM), we present a numerical solution of such a problem, showing the transition between the classical JohnsonKendall- Roberts (JKR) deformation and a liquid-like deformation in the absence of external load and gravity. The numerical model is in good agreement with previous experiments.