#4. Contact, Friction, Adhesion: Mechanics of Interfaces across Scales


  • Tianbao Ma, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • Michael Moseler, Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials, Germany
  • Lars Pastewka, University of Freiburg, Germany (lars.pastewka@imtek.uni-freiburg.de)
  • Izabela Szlufarska, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA


Contact between solid bodies controls our everyday interaction with the environment and determines the function of mechanical devices. A wide variety of phenomena, such frictional and adhesive surface forces or mechanochemical material modifications, occur during contact. Understanding and controlling these phenomena is necessary to increase the energy efficiency of a car or the lifetime of a grinding tool, but requires models for the physics and chemistry of deformation very far from equilibrium. Over the past decades, models and simulation tools have emerged that can describe various aspects of a tribological contact. These include electronic structure methods that consider the external stress to model mechanochemical processes, large scale classical molecular dynamics, reduced description of a tribological contact - often inspired by the Prantl-Tomlinson model, discrete dislocation dynamics for subsurface plastic deformation, or boundary element methods to understand the role of surface roughness. Often these models are treated in isolation while a multi-scale coupling would be beneficial and we encourage particularly submission of works where such a coupling is achieved.

We therefore strive here to bring together researchers working on aspects of electronic structure theory, atomistic models, discrete dislocation dynamics, and continuum models with a focus on processes at and near interfaces and the influence of interface geometry. Covering a wide range of scales and coupling mechanics, physics and chemistry is a challenge for the modeling community, but also an opportunity to gain further understanding of phenomena that are still inaccessible by experiments. In order to make contact to experiments wherever possible and discuss modeling needs, experimentalists are strongly encouraged to actively participate with talks.

Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Physical chemistry of surfaces under the action of an external load (mechanochemistry)
• Lubrication of interfaces from atomic to continuum scales
• Elastic and elastoplastic contact between rough surfaces
• Third body formation by tribo-induced structural and chemical transitions
• Coupling quantum with atomistic and atomistic with continuum scale models
• Methods for realistic mechanical and thermal boundary conditions in atomic- and mesoscale models
• Approaches for spanning large time-scales required for understanding phenomena such as contact ageing

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

• Momoji Kubo (Tohoku University, Japan)
• Tevis Jacobs (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
• Nicolas Fillot (INSA Lyon, France)
• Linmao Qian (Southwest Jiaotong University, China)
• Ming Ma (Tsinghua University, China)
• Marie Isabel De Barros Bouchet (Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France)
• Michael Urbakh (Tel Aviv University, Israel)