© 2017

Contact Mechanics and Friction

Physical Principles and Applications


  • The book presents the most important methods and results in the field of tribology and related fields

  • Many applications in different scales from micro to mega and in different fields are shown: contact, adhesion, seals, capillarity, lubrication, friction, and abrasion of elastic, plastic, and visco-elastic bodies

  • The book explores the system dynamic aspects of tribological systems


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 1-7
  3. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 27-42
  4. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 43-56
  5. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 97-116
  6. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 117-136
  7. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 137-150
  8. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 151-172
  9. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 173-192
  10. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 193-215
  11. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 217-223
  12. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 225-253
  13. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 255-281
  14. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 283-298
  15. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 299-315
  16. Valentin L. Popov
    Pages 335-342

About this book


This application-oriented book introduces readers to the associations and relationships between contact mechanics and friction, providing them with a deeper understanding of tribology. It addresses the related phenomena of contacts, adhesion, capillary forces, friction, lubrication, and wear from a consistent point of view. The author presents (1) methods for rough estimates of tribological quantities, (2) simple and general methods for analytical calculations, and (3) the crossover into numerical simulation methods, the goal being to convey a consistent view of tribological processes at various scales of magnitude (from nanotribology to earthquake research).

The book also explores the system dynamic aspects of tribological systems, such as squeal and its suppression, as well as other types of instabilities and spatial patterns. It includes problems and worked-out solutions for the respective chapters, giving readers ample opportunity to apply the theory to practical situations and to deepen their understanding of the material discussed.

The second edition has been extended with a more detailed exposition of elastohydrodynamic lubrication, an updated chapter on numerical simulation methods in contact mechanics, a new section on fretting in the chapter on wear, as well as numerous new exercises and examples, which help to make the book an excellent reference guide. 

“Popov puts a reader equipped with good intuition into a position to tackle quite a few tribological problems in a semi-quantitative fashion. … The book is organized extremely well … The large number of solved problems at the end of each chapter is a definite advantage of the book. … great benefit to those who teach tribology. …Meaningful references are provided for those who want to refine the material as a teacher or to indulge in tribological research.” (Prof. Martin Müser, Tribology Letters, July, 2010)


Adhesion Capillary forces Contact Electrical Contacts Fractal surfaces Frictional instab Lubrication Nanotribology Numerical simulation methods Rolling contact Rubber friction Seals Wear mechanics simulation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.TU Berlin Inst. MechanikBerlinGermany

About the authors

Prof. Dr. Valentin L. Popov
studied physics and obtained his doctorate from the Moscow State Lomonosow University. He worked at the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After a guest-professorship in the field of theoretical physics at the University of Paderborn, he has headed the department of System Dynamics and Friction Physics in the Institute of Mechanics at the Berlin University of Technology since 2002. His areas of interest, among others, include tribology, nanotribology, tribology at low temperatures, biotribology, the influence of friction through ultrasound, numerical simulation of frictional processes, research regarding earthquakes, as well as themes relating to materials sciences such as the mechanics of elastoplastic media with microstructure, strength of metals and alloys, and shape memory alloys. He is the joint editor of international journals and regularly organizes international conferences and workshops over diverse tribological themes.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Materials & Steel
Consumer Packaged Goods
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2017

“This is a remarkable book, considering the large number of examples involving the principles, analysis, and application of the contact forces and wear at the interface between two different phases … . A variety of example problems, figures, and diagrams are included, as well as a list of problems with each chapter. … is best suited for advanced students and those actively involved in the field of research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals.” (R. Darby, Choice, Vol. 55 (3), November, 2017)