Friction Measurements


Friction is the resistance to sliding between 2 surfaces in contact when pressed together. Friction is often described with a single coefficient which is the sliding resistance force divided by the normal force pushing the 2 surfaces together. In general, friction can be a function of the materials that make up the surfaces, the normal pressure, temperature and the rate of sliding.

There are a few experiments that are particularly useful in characterizing friction. The experiments are outlined below.

Typical Plastic Experiments:

  • Sled Style Friction Experiment
  • High Pressure Friction Experiment

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  • Graph of friction as a function of normal pressure between surfaces.
    Sliding Frictional Force at Various Strain Rates

    Sled Style Friction Experiment

    A friction sled test is used for low normal force and comparative tests.

    Schematic of a sled friction test.
    Friction Sled Experiment


    Image of friction measurement test using a sled.
    Friction Sled Experiment Mounted on a Tensile Tester

    High Pressure Friction Experiment

    A more elaborate axial torsion friction test is used for higher normal force tests.

    Schematic of a high normal pressure axial torsion friction experiment.
    Axial Torsion Friction Experiment


    Image of a rubber and metal test surface for friction measuremnt.  Image of a high pressure friction test setup.
    Axial Torsion Friction Experiment