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Maitre de Conférences
Office : G005
Team : Physics-Mechanics and Tribology of Polymers

Research Strategy

My research activities in Contact Mechanics take place in the frame of the charaterization of sliding contacts. The topics that I am in charge of, deal with problems where adhesion can not be neglected compared to other involved phenomena (deformation, plasticity,...). Thus, my research is devided in two main topics, both motivated by scientific challenges to take up :

Damage & Adhesion of Thin Films [3,5-7]

The scratch resistance of coatings is a key feature of surface durability. As a consequence, the damage of such systems has to be explored. In particular, the substrate/thin film adhesion must be well controlled and measurable. Using our experimental scratch device, allowing in-situ observation of the scratch, the fracturing of some thin coatings deposited on various substrates were investigated under different conditions of temperature and scratching speed...

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Rayure, surface avec film, tenue faible
Contact Mechanics of Soft Matter [1,2])

The sliding contacts between soft matters are governed by an important adhesive contribution. Their full understanding is a great scientific challenge which I chose to get onto through the soft matter response to normal dynamic loading (dynamic JKR – mode I) and tangential loading (friction/sliding – mode II).

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Video 3

In parallel to these experimental considerations, Finite Elements modelling is set up [2] in order to compare with experimental results and simulate extreme conditions impossible to obtain or control experimentally (local friction for instance).

Some recent publications

[1] E. Grespan, S. Martewicz, E. Serena, V. Le Houerou, J. Rühe, N. Elvassore, Analysis of calcium dynamics and uni-axial contraction force in single human embryonic stem cells derived-cardiomyocytes on microstructured elastic substrate with spatially controlled surface chemistries, Langmuir (2016), 32 (46), pp 12190–12201.

[2] V. Hisler, L. Vonna, V. Le Houerou, S. Knopf, C. Gauthier, M. Nardin, and H. Haidara, Model Experimental Study of Scale Invariant Wetting Behaviors in Cassie−Baxter and Wenzel Regimes, Langmuir (2014), 30, 9378−9383,

[3] G. Klein, V. Le Houérou, R. Muller, C. Gauthier, Y. Holl, Friction properties of acrylic-carboxylated latex films. 1. Effects of acrylic acid concentration and pH, Tribology International, 53 (2012), pp. 142-149.

[4] T. Chatel, C. Gauthier, V. Le Houérou, H. Pelletier, D. Favier, R. Schirrer, Creep of the contact with spherical tip and recovery of the imprint on amorphous polymer, Journal of Physics D : Applied Physics, 44 (2011) 375403 (10pp).

[5] C. Belon, A. Chemtob, C. Croutxé-Barghorn, S. Rigolet, M. Schmitt, S. Bistac, V. Le Houérou and C. Gauthier, Nanocomposite coatings via simultaneous organic-inorganic photo-induced polymerization : Synthesis, structural investigation and mechanical characterization, Polymer International, 59 [8] (2010), pp. 1175-1186.

[6] V. Le Houérou, C. Gauthier, and R. Schirrer, Energy based model to assess interfacial adhesion using a scratch test, Journal of Materials Science, 43 (2008), pp. 5747-5754.

[7] V. Le Houérou, C. Robert, C. Gauthier, and R. Schirrer, Mechanisms of blistering and chipping of a scracth-resistant coating, Wear, 265 [3-4] (2008), pp. 507-515.

[8] V. Le Houerou, J.C. Sangleboeuf, S. Deriano, T. Rouxel, and G. Duisit, Surface damage of soda-lime-silica glasses : indentation scratch behavior, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 316 [1] (2003), pp. 54-63.


Team publications by topics :