CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio


  • Andrea. GhiottiEmail author
Reference work entry



Friction is defined as the resistance to relative motion exhibited by the contact surfaces of two bodies under the application of a normal load. The relative motion can be either sliding, rolling, or flowing over another body with which it is in contact. Friction is an energy-dissipating process, in which the kinetic energy of the moving body is transformed into heat, with consequent temperature variation of the contact surfaces.

Theory and Application

Types of Friction

The following main type of friction can be distinguished:
  • Static friction pertains two contacting bodies that do not present relative motion under the influence of a resultant force. It is determined by the interlocking of the irregularities of two surfaces that prevent any relative motion up until some limit where motion occurs.

  • Kinetic frictionis defined as the force that resists to motion when two surfaces are moving with a relative velocity; it is, therefore, equal and opposite to...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly