Contact between representative rough surfaces
A numerical analysis of mechanical frictionless contact between rough self-affine elastic manifolds was carried out. It is shown that the lower cutoff wave number in surface spectra is a key parameter controlling the representativity of the numerical model. Using this notion we demonstrate that for representative surfaces the evolution of the real contact area with load is universal and independent of the Hurst roughness exponent. By introducing a universal law containing three constants, we extend the study of this evolution beyond the limit of infinitesimal area fractions.