Europhys. Lett.
Volume 47, Number 5, September 1999
Page(s) 562 - 567
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 01 September 2002
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i1999-00426-2

Europhys. Lett, 47 (5), pp. 562-567 (1999)

Humidity effect on static aging of dry friction

J. Crassous, L. Bocquet, S. Ciliberto and C. Laroche

Laboratoire de Physique, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
46 Allée d'Italie, 69007 Lyon, France

(received 22 March 1999; accepted in final form 2 July 1999)

PACS. 46.55${\rm +d}$ - Tribology and mechanical contacts.
PACS. 68.10Jy - Kinetics (evaporation, adsorption, condensation, catalysis, etc.).
PACS. 68.35Gy - Mechanical and acoustical properties; adhesion.


We report an experiment about the aging properties of the static coefficient of friction under moisture. Depending on the material used, aging properties may be totally driven by the presence of moisture. This may be understood by taking into account the capillary condensation of liquid bridges between surfaces. A simple model describing the time-dependent construction of adhesive forces between surfaces leads to a logarithmic, humidity-dependent aging effect. The estimated magnitude for the aging rate obtained within this description is in agreement with experimental data.


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