This book deals with the mechanics of solid bodies in contact, a subject intimately connected with such topics as fracture, hardness, and elasticity. In recent years, for example, the indentation test, which is especially suited for the analysis of structural ceramics, glasses, and thin film systems, has become a popular method of determining mechanical properties of both brittle and ductile materials.
The book begins with an introduction to the mechanical properties of materials, general fracture mechanics, and the fracture of brittle solids. This is followed by a detailed description of indentation stress fields for both elastic and elastic-plastic contact. The discussion then turns to the formation of Hertzian cone cracks in brittle materials, subsurface damage in ductile materials, and the meaning of hardness. The book concludes with an overview of practical methods of indentation testing.
This text, intended for advanced undergraduates, makes contact mechanics accessible to those entering the field for the first time. Its compact review of important formulas and its overview of the theoretical developments of the past century will also be of use to experienced researchers.