Abstract

Contact electrification is a universal phenomenon that commonly occurs in almost every solid-solid contact pair. The tribo-charges deposited on two surfaces by contact electrification can significantly affect adhesion; however, contact electrification is often overlooked in the study of adhesive contact. Here, we develop an analytical model to investigate electroadhesion during the contact phase between two initially uncharged dielectric surfaces, namely, an elastic parabolic surface and a rigid flat. A system of nonlinear equations is derived to describe the relationship between the indentation, normal load, radius of contact area, and radius of the charged zone using the Barthel--Maugis--Dugdale model (Barthel et al., 1999). The analytical results show good agreement with the numerical results of the full self-consistent contact model. When contact electrification leads to a higher tribo-charge density and a larger charged zone, it has a greater impact on the normal traction, interfacial gap, force-approach curves, jump-out, and dissipated energy. The analytical model developed in this study serves as the foundation for advances in rough surface electroadhesive contact and electroadhesion testing, and it sheds light on the usage of adhesive joints in ultra-high vacuum environments and outer space, where contact electrification has a significant impact.

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