The static friction peak in reciprocating sliding

Saad Bin Jaber, Yang Xu*, Mehmet E. Kartal, Nikolaj Gadegaard, Daniel M. Mulvihill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This paper investigates why the static friction peak is mostly absent in reciprocating sliding and gross-slip fretting literature. Here, reciprocating sliding tests were conducted on ultra-smooth silicon surfaces. A prominent static friction peak was present in the initial cycles. However, a rapid wear-induced decay in the static friction peak occurred after the first cycle with the peak being mostly absent by about 30 cycles. Two possible explanations are proposed for the wear-induced decay: (1) that increasing surface roughness (with cycles) reduces the fully stuck contact area and (2) that wear reduces the bonding strength of the stuck interface by removing third body contaminant molecules. Predictions from a multi-asperity friction model are used to support these arguments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108240
Number of pages8
JournalTribology International
Early online date9 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Leverhulme Trust who supported the overall research under project grant “Fundamental Mechanical Behaviour of Nano and Micro Structured Interfaces” ( RPG-2017-353 ). S.B-J acknowledges the support of the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in London and Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMISU), Riyadh for sponsoring and supporting his Ph.D. studies. N.G. acknowledges ERC funding through FAKIR 648892 Consolidator Award and support from the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme, Project No. 262613 . Staff at Glasgow’s James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC) are thanked for their support. Dr Jacek Olender (University of Glasgow) is thanked for his advice on surface energy measurement.


  • Frictional hysteresis loop
  • Gross-slip fretting
  • Reciprocating sliding
  • Static friction peak


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