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The laws for sliding friction cannot be applied to rolling bodies in equally quantitative terms, but the following

generalities can be given: (a) The rolling friction force F is proportional to the load L and inversely proportional to the radius of curvature r, or F = r L/r, where r is the coefficient of rolling resistance, in meters (inches). As the radius increases, the frictional force decreases. (b) The rolling friction force F can be expressed as a fractional power of the load L times a constant k, or F = kLn where the constant k and the power n must be determined experimentally. (c) The friction force F decreases as the smoothness of the rolling element improves.

When a body rolls over another body, the places of contact get deformed and a slight bump is formed. The bump caused in front has to be constantly overcome. It is like constantly climbing an incline. Secondly, the adhesive forces between the two surfaces also have to be overcome constantly. It is due to these two factors that rolling friction arises. It is denoted by fr and is given by

Where r= L= r=

coefficient of rolling friction normal reaction radius of rolling body

This equation is applicable only for pure rolling and no sliding. It also must be noted that the coefficient of rolling friction, r, has the dimensions of length

Friction aids walking. Our feet pushes the floor back and the floor pushes our feet forward, by using friction to do so (every action has equal and opposite reaction). Friction between tyres of vehicles and the road make controlled motion possible. Many machine parts stay in place and are also driven by friction. All kinds of brakes in vehicles use friction for braking. Nails stay in place in the walls because of friction.

Friction causes wear and tear in machine parts. A large amount of fuel and energy in vehicles and machines is used to overcome friction. Friction between the bone joints, especially legs in old people, causes discomfort, pain and various ailments.

The friction are measured by the following methods


Weight ratio Spring balance Tilted plane

= Ff / N = mdead mblock

weight /

Spring balance
= Fspring /Fnormal = Fspring /(mblock g ), g=9.81 m/s

Tilted plane

= tan = Ff /F

In the measuring methods discussed above the friction coefficient is measured in fresh contacts, not after running in. The coefficient of friction may change significantly during first half hour of sliding. The time necessary to obtain a stable value of the coefficient of friction can be observed in a motorized Tribometers by monitoring the friction over time. This method is common for measuring the specific wear rate and the contact temperature during operation.