This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation on surface contact fatigue of AA6082 aluminium alloy. After testing, microscopy analysis of the specimen contact area shows plastic deformation at the centre and circumferential cracks at the very edge of the print. Major cracks develop at a certain depth under the border of the contact area and propagate beneath the surface, in the direction of both the centre of contact and the lateral free edge of the specimens. No cracks have been observed at the centre of contact, neither on the surface, nor inside the material. Tensile properties of the alloy have been measured and a non linear finite element analysis has been performed in order to calculate the field of deformation and stress in the contact zone. Finally, stress intensities are correlated with the crack initiation points and an interpretation of the propagation paths, in regard to stress distribution, is given.