`` NEWTON: Static and Kinetic Friction, Tribometer
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Name: Daniel
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: NJ
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2013

I am trying to determine the friction, sticktion and adhesion of a wet walking surface using a Horizontal drag tribometer (pulled across the wet surface i.e. wt/force of pull). I understand that there may be some adhesion or sticktion from the contaminant like water if the tribometer is left on the surface or dragged through the surface with the water but I cant seem to determine if there is a significant difference or not. I have not found a study which quantifies the values for adhesion-sticktion. Have you performed research to find the objective difference when using a drag tribometer versus a non drag tribometer? The non drag tribometer does not rest on the water surface but uses a strut to strike the floor at an angle until it slips on the floor. Are there any papers I can get and read about the quantifying values for sticktion and adhesion as they relate to friction in wet slip and fall incidents? I am a high school student working on a project.

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the question. I do not have any personal knowledge relating to the tribometer. I would suggest that you conduct a literature and patent search to find out if there are any papers on this subject. I would recommend using Google Scholar and a patent search web site. Both of these resources are available for free, but you will need to search for them on the Internet. I cannot stress enough the importance of doing a thorough literature search before beginning a research project.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff Grell

You have one very important variable missing, the ?WET walking surface?. There is enough electrical conductivity that the tribometer is always grounded.

That is going to "goof" everything up. There may even be enough water in the interface even if the experiment is run "dry'. Also adhesion is very difficult to measure reproducibly. The "number" you get will also be different if you are measuring static vs. moving block.

Vince Calder

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