The presence of surface texture/roughness on engineering surfaces results in contacts between surfaces being considerably more compliant than if the interfaces were smooth and flat. The inclusion of a local contact stiffness can be critical to the accurate analytical or computational modeling of mechanical contacts. We present measurements of contact stiffness for five pairs of freshly prepared and worn of steel surfaces. The wom surfaces variously contain surface glazes, oxide layers, subsurface cracks, inclusions and wear particles. Contact resonance frequencies between sample interfaces are measured at various applied pressures. With known modal masses, the contact stiffness is easily calculated and presented on a per unit area basis. For a given contact pair, the contact stiffness is nonlinear, increasing with nominal pressure and decreasing with increasing surface roughness. We compare these results with the Greenwood-Williamson (G-W) Theory of rough surface contact. The expected pressure and summit height dependencies are observed in the measured data. When there are wear particles within the contact, the stiffness is reduced when the underlying surfaces are very smooth. If the underlying surfaces are rough, the presence of wear particles have little effect on the contact stiffness.

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