Elucidation of contact state on various rough surfaces via highly robust colorimetric optical interferometry

Tatsunori Tomota, Mamoru Tohyama, Kazuyuki Yagi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


In this study, we developed and practiced colorimetric optical interferometry for the direct observation of contact states to clarify contact phenomena. We theoretically demonstrated that the effect of roughness diffuse reflection could be neglected using interferometric light intensity according to the relationship between the optical film thickness and hue. Then, we measured the static contact surfaces of spherical test pieces of different root mean square roughnesses. Results indicate that the nominal contact area is significantly larger than that obtained from the Hertzian theory of smooth contact as the surface roughness increases. The contact film thickness on the nominal contact area increases almost in proportion to the root mean square roughness. Our experiment supports the validity of the contact theory and contact simulation with very small roughnesses, which have been difficult to verify experimentally. The advantage of this measurement is that it can simultaneously capture the macroscopic contact area and microscopic film thickness distribution, which is expected to further expand the range of application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number178
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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