Analysis of a Unilateral Contact Problem with Normal Compliance

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The paper deals with the study of a quasistatic unilateral contact problem between a nonlinear elastic body and a foundation. The contact is modelled with a normal compliance condition associated to unilateral constraint and the Coulomb's friction law. The adhesion between contact surfaces is taken into account and is modelled with a surface variable, the bonding field, whose evolution is described by a first-order differential equation. We establish a variational formulation of the mechanical problem and prove an existence and uniqueness result in the case where the coefficient of friction is bounded by a certain constant. The technique of the proof is based on arguments of time-dependent variational inequalities, differential equations and fixed-point theorem.

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