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Linking energy loss in soft adhesion to surface roughness

Dalvi, Siddhesh and Gujrati, Abhijeet and Khanal, Subarna and Pastewka, Lars and Dhinojwala, Ali and Jacobs, Tevis (2019) Linking energy loss in soft adhesion to surface roughness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. ISSN 1091-6490

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A mechanistic understanding of adhesion in soft materials is critical in the fields of transportation (tires, gaskets, seals), biomaterials, micro-contact printing, and soft robotics. Measurements have long demonstrated that the apparent work of adhesion coming into contact is consistently lower than the intrinsic work of adhesion for the materials, and that there is adhesion hysteresis during separation, commonly explained by viscoelastic dissipation. Still lacking is a quantitative experimentally validated link between adhesion and measured topography. Here, we used in situ measurements of contact size to investigate the adhesion behavior of soft elastic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) hemispheres (modulus ranging from 0.7 to 10 MPa) on four different polycrystalline diamond substrates with topography characterized across eight orders of magnitude, including down to the Ångström-scale. The results show that the reduction in apparent work of adhesion is equal to the energy required to achieve conformal contact. Further, the energy loss during contact and removal is equal to the product of the intrinsic work of adhesion and the true contact area. These findings provide a simple mechanism to quantitatively link the widely observed adhesion hysteresis to roughness rather than viscoelastic dissipation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gujrati, Abhijeetabg30@pitt.eduabg30
Khanal, Subarnasrk68@pitt.edusrk680000-0003-1651-6987
Pastewka, Larslars.pastewka@imtek.uni-freiburg.de0000-0001-8351-7336
Dhinojwala, Aliali4@uakron.edu0000-0002-3935-7467
Jacobs, Tevistjacobs@pitt.edutjacobs0000-0001-8576-914X
Date: 26 November 2019
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1073/pnas.1913126116
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Refereed: No
ISSN: 1091-6490
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2020 18:55
Last Modified: 27 May 2020 05:15

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