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A comparison of two methods of measuring static coefficient of friction at low normal forces: a pilot study.

Authors
  • Seo, Na Jin
  • Armstrong, Thomas J
  • Drinkaus, Philip
Type
Published Article
Journal
Ergonomics
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
Volume
52
Issue
1
Pages
121–135
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/00140130802238622
PMID: 19308825
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study compares two methods for estimating static friction coefficients for skin. In the first method, referred to as the 'tilt method', a hand supporting a flat object is tilted until the object slides. The friction coefficient is estimated as the tangent of the angle of the object at the slip. The second method estimates the friction coefficient as the pull force required to begin moving a flat object over the surface of the hand, divided by object weight. Both methods were used to estimate friction coefficients for 12 subjects and three materials (cardboard, aluminium, rubber) against a flat hand and against fingertips. No differences in static friction coefficients were found between the two methods, except for that of rubber, where friction coefficient was 11% greater for the tilt method. As with previous studies, the friction coefficients varied with contact force and contact area. Static friction coefficient data are needed for analysis and design of objects that are grasped or manipulated with the hand. The tilt method described in this study can easily be used by ergonomic practitioners to estimate static friction coefficients in the field in a timely manner.

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