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# Static & Kinetic Friction

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/ben_townsend/statican...

## Static and Kinetic Friction

Friction is a key concept when you are attempting to understand car accidents. The force of friction is a force that resists motion when two objects are in contact. If you look at the surfaces of all objects, there are tiny bumps and ridges. Those microscopic peaks and valleys catch on one another when two objects are moving past each other.

This explanation is a little simplified. There are other processes at work, including chemical bonding and electrical interactions. The level of friction that different materials exhibit is measured by the coefficient of friction. The formula is = f / N, where is the coefficient of friction, f is the amount of force that resists motion, and N is the normal force. Normal force is the force at which one surface is being pushed into another. If a rock that weighs 50 newtons is lying on the ground, then the normal force is that 50 newtons of force. The higher is, the more force resists motion if two objects are sliding past each other.

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23-Dec-13 9:46 PM

## Static & Kinetic Friction

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/ben_townsend/statican...

There are two forms of friction, kinetic and static. If you try to slide two objects past each other, a small amount of force will result in no motion. The force of friction is greater than the applied force. This is static friction. If you apply a little more force, the object "breaks free" and slides, although you still need to apply force to keep the object sliding. This is kinetic friction. You do not need to apply quite as much force to keep the object sliding as you needed to originally break free of static friction.

Some common values of coefficients of kinetic and static friction: Surfaces Steel on steel Glass on glass Metal on Metal (lubricated) Ice on ice (static) (kinetic) 0.74 0.94 0.15 0.10 0.57 0.40 0.06 0.03

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## Static & Kinetic Friction

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/ben_townsend/statican...

## Now, finally, how does all this relate to automobiles?

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23-Dec-13 9:46 PM

## Static & Kinetic Friction

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/ben_townsend/statican...

Usually, the tires must maintain static friction in order to turn the car. That limits the maximum speed to a rate at which the tires do not slip. The equation that models this situation is: Vmax = square root of ((static) g r) Where: Vmax = Maximum velocity g = Acceleration due to gravity (9.80 m/sec^2) r = Radius of curve = Coefficient of static friction If you are traveling around a curve with a radius of 10 meters and no snow or rain, Vmax = square root of (1.00 * 9.80 m/sec^2 * 10.0m) = 5.4 m/sec, which is about 22.1 mph. Any faster and the tires would slide. If you are traveling around a curve with a radius of 10 meters on a snowy day, Vmax = square root of (0.30 * 9.80 m/sec^2 * 10.0m) = 5.4 m/sec, which is about 12.1 mph.

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23-Dec-13 9:46 PM