Tribology Letters

, 62:30 | Cite as

Experimental Investigation of the Correlation Between Adhesion and Friction Forces

  • Abdullah A. Alazemi
  • Arnab Ghosh
  • Farshid SadeghiEmail author
  • Lars-Erik Stacke
Original Paper


In this study, the effect of adhesion on evolution of friction during the transition of the contact from pre-sliding into full sliding was investigated. In order to achieve the objectives, a micro optical friction (MOF) apparatus was developed to conduct dry sliding friction experiments and to allow for in situ visualization of the contact area for a sphere-on-flat configuration. MOF apparatus was used to measure friction under various load and speed combinations. The friction results exhibit the commonly observed behavior in friction (i.e., static friction is larger than dynamic friction). The results also demonstrated that the difference between static and dynamic friction forces increased with an increase in the applied normal load. We hypothesize and demonstrate that the difference between the measured maximum friction force commonly referred to as static friction force and the steady state or dynamic friction force divided by the dynamic coefficient of friction is the force of adhesion. The adhesion force results obtained from our experimental investigation corroborate well with the force of adhesion described by the DMT model. The reduction in friction force is attributed to the diminishing of adhesion force during full sliding of the contact.


Friction Adhesion Contact area Sphere-on-flat contact 

List of Symbols


Hertzian contact radius


Contact radius predicted by the DMT theory


Apparent contact area


Equivalent Young’s modulus, \(\frac{1}{{E^{'} }} = \frac{1}{2}\left( {\frac{{1 - \nu_{\text{s}}^{2} }}{{E_{\text{s}} }} + \frac{{1 - \nu_{\text{p}}^{2} }}{{E_{\text{p}} }}} \right)\)

Es, Ep

Young’s moduli of the sphere and plane


Dynamic friction force


Maximum friction force


Frictional force caused by adhesion


Force of adhesion


Frictional force caused by elastic deformation


Total friction force


Applied normal force


Numerical aperture of the microscope objective


Radius of the sphere


Input tangential displacement amplitude


Output tangential displacement


Wavelength of light


Dynamic coefficient of friction

νs, νp

Poisson’s ratio of the sphere and plane



The authors would like to express their deepest appreciations to the SKF Company for their support of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdullah A. Alazemi
    • 1
  • Arnab Ghosh
    • 1
  • Farshid Sadeghi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lars-Erik Stacke
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.SKF Digital Business Technology, Knowledge and Simulation ToolsGöteborgSweden

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