How To Reduce Friction: The resistance of one surface to slide or roll across another is known as friction. As a result, friction occurs only when two surfaces move relative to each other, such as when a crankshaft spins in a journal bearing or a ball bearing rolls along its raceway.
A microscopic examination of these surfaces in relative motion reminds us that each surface has tiny, jagged asperities, no matter how tightly they are machined (rough and uneven surfaces). These surface asperities may seize upon contact if there is no separation, such as that created by a lubricant coating. As the movement happens, some abrasion, adhesion, and/or plowing of these asperities will occur at the very least.
We’ll look at how to reduce friction as well as the factors that influence it in this article.
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Factors affecting Friction
1. Roughness/smoothness of the sliding object: The amount of friction is proportional to the object’s roughness. When compared to rough surfaces, smooth surfaces move over them more readily. On a tiny scale, abnormalities can be seen. The sliding between the surfaces is hampered by these imperfections. As a result, the more the roughness, the higher the friction.
2. The smoothness of the surface: Completely smooth surfaces are impossible to achieve. Each surface will be rough in some way. Friction will be created when this roughness is paired with the roughness of the sliding object.
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3. The normal force applied has a direct relationship with friction: The force applied in the normal direction (perpendicular to the sliding plane) will increase the friction between the surfaces. The normal force applied is thus directly proportional to friction.
The weight of an object has a direct relationship with friction. The weight of an object is usually represented by the force observed in the normal direction. As a result, friction is proportional to an object’s weight. According to the animation above, pushing a light object is easier than pushing a heavy object of the same substance.
4. The designs of an object: Friction can also be found in liquids and gases. When opposed to sliding on a solid surface like a road, air or water provides extremely little friction. When dealing with fluid friction, the object’s design becomes extremely critical.
To reduce friction, a streamlined design is usually adopted. Dolphins have a streamlined physique that helps them reduce friction in the water. To avoid friction, aircraft and fish have streamlined designs.
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5. Type of friction involved: The friction of rolling is always smaller than the friction of sliding. The use of wheels is another feature that can significantly minimize friction. When you slide your suitcase against a stroller bag, you’ll notice how much easier it is to move because of the reduced friction. Roller skates, for example, minimize friction and so allow us to move faster than standard shoes.
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8 Ways To Reduce Frictional Force
1. Making the sliding surfaces smoother: As two surfaces glide over one another, friction occurs. The key component influencing friction on a tiny scale is indeed the interlocking mechanisms. By smoothing the sliding surfaces, we could reduce interlocking. A playground slide, for instance, was polished to smooth out the surface as well as reduce friction. Kids can easily slide down a polished, frictionless slide due to the reduction of friction.
Methods for smoothing surfaces include:
a. Grinding: The roughness on the soft surface is ground and broken using a hard substance. Polishing hardwood surfaces, tiles, marbles, and other materials are examples.
b. Sandpaper is a sort of grinding that is used to make fine changes.
c. Chemical etching: To eliminate surface imperfections, a harsh chemical treatment is used.
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2. Application of Lubricants: Lubricants are compounds that are applied to surfaces to keep them lubricated. lessen the friction It can minimize heat generation as well as Ensure that the sliding is smooth. The majority of lubricants are semi-solid. materials with a paste-like consistency that minimizes dry sliding friction Whenever grease or oil is introduced between the working parts of a machine, it is known as lubrication.
A thin film of oil is created between the moving parts of a machine. the two surfaces that come into contact with one another Because this layer of oil separates the two touching surfaces just a little, the quantity of interlocking is considerably reduced. This abrasion is quite severe. The time it takes to move is reduced, and the movement becomes smoother. When it comes to oil or grease, it is applied to the moving parts of a machine, and then their surfaces are not in direct contact with one another. sift through a layer of oil and grease.
3. Convert to rolling friction: The friction of sliding is always larger than the friction of rolling. Consider a vehicle with square wheels. In our daily lives, rolling friction is used extensively. A ball bearing could be used for this. A ball bearing is indeed a mechanical mechanism made out of a ring of small metal balls. A ball bearing’s little metal balls can freely roll. They’re made to make a machine’s moving elements roll through each other instead of slide.
A ball bearing is placed between two surfaces that must spin over one another. The axle is attached to the inner side of a ball bearing, while the wheel is attached to the outer side of the ball bearing. By causing the two surfaces (wheel and rear axle) to roll over each other, they reduce friction. The rolling motion of little metal balls located within the ball bearing causes this.
4. Using wheels to move objects helps reduce friction: Moving a heavy suitcase by dragging it on the ground is difficult due to the high sliding friction between the heavy suitcase and the ground. This big suitcase can be readily pulled if it is equipped with little wheels. Because sliding friction is changed to rolling friction when wheels are attached.
The rolling friction between the suitcase wheels and the ground is also significantly reduced. Connecting wheels to move the objects helps reduce friction.
5. The streamlined design of the sliding body: A streamlined body reduces friction, especially in fluids. It allows the sliding body to travel through the medium with the minimum amount of resistance possible. To achieve low friction, the streamlined bodies of fish and birds are imitated.
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6. Reduce contact between surfaces: Friction can be reduced by reducing contact during sliding. Is it, nevertheless, possible? Yes, magnetic levitation or charging on both surfaces with the same polarity can lessen contact.
Maglev (Magnetic levitation) trains use magnetic levitation to decrease friction and improve speed and passenger pleasure.
7. Use fluid friction instead of dry friction: When compared to solid surfaces, fluids have less friction. As a result, aircraft could travel at far higher speeds than automobiles. We are also transforming dry friction into fluid friction when we apply lubricants or oil to surfaces.
8. Reduce pressure or weight on the object: Friction is perfectly proportionate to the normal force applied to it. The weight of the body acts as the usual force on an object because we are on Earth. In space, friction will be minimal to non-existent. Choose materials with care to reduce friction.
To summarize, make the surfaces a little smoother to reduce friction. Friction is increased by rough surfaces, while friction is reduced by smooth surfaces. Note that making the surface extremely smooth will increase friction by forming a huge number of bonds.
Another approach to make a surface smoother is to lubricate it. Improve the object’s sleek appearance. The streamlined design allows air or water to flow freely around it, resulting in the least amount of resistance. Reduce the normal force applied on the in-contact surfaces. The higher the friction, the stronger the normal force acting on the surfaces. Reduce the amount of contact between the surfaces so that fewer bonds are formed.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.