Tribology Letters

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 117–127 | Cite as

High-Speed Friction Measurements Using a Modified Surface Forces Apparatus

  • D. D. Lowrey
  • K. Tasaka
  • J. H. Kindt
  • X. Banquy
  • N. Belman
  • Y. Min
  • N. S. Pesika
  • G. Mordukhovich
  • J. N. IsraelachviliEmail author
Original Paper


Methods of measuring friction forces in the surface forces apparatus (SFA) are presented for sliding velocities from <1 nm/s to >10 m/s. A feed-forward control (FFC) system for the piezoelectric bimorph slider attachment is introduced to allow experiments at velocities up to ~4 mm/s. For still higher speeds, a motor-driven rotating mini-disk setup using a pin-on-disk geometry is presented, with modifications to enable sliding velocities in the ranges 1 cm/s–5 m/s and 1–25 m/s. Example data sets demonstrate the applicability of the approach to modeling important tribological systems including hard-disk drives. We find that mechanical system parameters such as the resonant frequencies and mutual alignments of different moving parts become increasingly important in determining the tribological response at sliding velocities above ~1 cm/s (for SFA or bench top devices). Smooth or stick-slip sliding—common features of low-speed sliding—become replaced by large-amplitude oscillatory responses that depend on the load and especially the driving speed or rotational/reciprocating frequencies. Detailed recordings and modeling of these complex effects are necessary for fully understanding and controlling frictional behavior at high speeds.


Friction test methods Boundary lubrication test methods 



DOE grant number DE-FG02-87ER45331 for supporting KT, JHK, NB, YM, NSP, and JNI in the design and construction of the high-speed friction attachments, and General Motors Company for supporting DDL and XB in the design and construction of the high-speed friction attachments, and in the carrying out of the high-speed experiments with the cellulose friction surfaces. DDL acknowledges support from ICB.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. D. Lowrey
    • 1
  • K. Tasaka
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. H. Kindt
    • 4
    • 5
  • X. Banquy
    • 2
  • N. Belman
    • 2
  • Y. Min
    • 2
    • 6
  • N. S. Pesika
    • 2
    • 7
  • G. Mordukhovich
    • 8
  • J. N. Israelachvili
    • 9
    Email author
  1. 1.Materials DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Japan, Ltd.FujisawaJapan
  4. 4.Nano Surfaces BusinessBrukerMannheimGermany
  5. 5.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  6. 6.Department of Chemical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  7. 7.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  8. 8.General Motors Research & DevelopmentWarrenUSA
  9. 9.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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