The validity of the theoretical yield criterion proposed previously for a hard asperity on a soft flat surface in abrasive friction process was examined by the experiments in the scanning electron microscope with model asperities. The asperity specimens with six asperity angles were made of SUS304 (18Cr-8Ni austenitic stainless steel) and four types of S45C (0.45% C steel). Mating flat specimens were made of S45C and two types of 6-4 brass. The hardness ratio of those frictional pairs ranged from 0.17 to 0.91. The experimental results gave good agreement with the proposed theoretical predictions, i.e. if the asperity angle is smaller than a critical asperity angle which is determined by the hardness ratio between the asperity and the mating flat surface, the tip of the asperity deforms plastically despite its being harder than the mating flat surface.
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