Tribology Letters

, 62:1

Sliding Without Slipping Under Coulomb Friction: Opening Waves and Inversion of Frictional Force

Original Paper


An elastic layer slides on a rigid flat governed by Coulomb’s friction law. We demonstrate that if the coefficient of friction is high enough, the sliding localizes within stick–slip pulses, which transform into opening waves propagating at intersonic speed in the direction of sliding or, for high Poisson’s ratios, at supersonic speed in the opposite direction. This sliding mode, characterized by marginal frictional dissipation, and similar to carpet fold propagation, may result in inversion of the frictional force direction; at longer time intervals, the system demonstrates stick–slip behavior. The mechanism is described in detail, and a parametric study is presented.


Friction Slip pulses Opening waves Supersonic pulses Negative friction 

Supplementary material

11249_2016_650_MOESM1_ESM.avi (4.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (avi 4799 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MINES ParisTech, PSL Research University, Centre for Material Sciences, CNRS UMR 7633EvryFrance

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