Encyclopedia of Tribology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Q. Jane Wang, Yip-Wah Chung

Amontons’ Laws of Friction

  • Peter J. Blau
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-92897-5_166


Dating back to 1699, Amontons’ laws of friction assert that there exists a proportionality between friction force and the applied load, and that the friction force is independent of apparent contact area. While well-known in the field of tribology, these so-called “laws” are predated by the work of Leonardo da Vinci and are invalid in many practical situations.

Scientific Applications

Frenchman Guillaume Amontons (1663–1705) conducted research on friction during the late 1600 s and presented his work in a classic paper to the Royal Academy in December of 1699 (Amontons 1699). In the field of tribology, he is best known for two so-called Amontons’ laws of friction that derived from one of the conclusions presented in that paper; namely, “that the resistance caused by rubbing only increases or diminishes in proportion to greater or lesser pressure (load) and not according to the greater or lesser extent of the surfaces.” In other words:
  1. 1.

    The friction force is directly...

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  1. G. Amontons, “De la resistance caus”ee dans les machines,’ Mémoires de l’Académie Royale, A, Chez Gerard Kuyper, Amsterdam, published in 1706, pp 257–282 (1699)Google Scholar
  2. D. Dowson, History of Tribology, 2nd edn. (Wiley, New York, 1998). 768 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Science and Technology DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA