Dry Friction

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The phenomenon of dry friction (or Coulomb friction) occurs when the surfaces of two dry, unlubricated solids move past one another. The plots illustrate a model for dry friction: a mass attached to a spring with stiffness moves over a continuous belt traveling at constant speed , with the frictional force . The position of the mass is shown as a function of time and also plotted against . The effect of dry friction on machine operation is an important consideration in mechanical engineering.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (February 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The equation of motion is .


[1] D. W. Jordan and P. Smith, Nonlinear Ordinary Differential Equations, An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers, 4th ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2007 pp. 32–34.

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