Contact Stress

Stresses caused by the pressure between two elastic contacting parts are of importance in design such as gears and bearings. Centuries ago H. Hertz developed the mathematical theory for the surface stresses and the deformation produced by pressure between curved parts, and the results of this analysis are supported by research. Formulas based on this theory give the maximum compressive stresses that occur at the center of the surfaces of contact, but do not consider the maximum subsurface shear stresses or the maximum tensile stresses that occur at the boundary of the contact area.

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