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Literature Reviewq

Friction is the resisting force encountered when one tries to slide (static) or does slide

(kinetic) one surface over another. This force acts parallel to the surfaces in contact. The

force necessary to overcome friction depends on the nature of the materials in contact,

their roughness or smoothness, and on the normal force. Experimentally, the force of

friction is found to be directly proportional to the normal force. The constant of

proportionality is called the coefficient of friction.

The coefficient of friction is equal to the force of friction divided by the total normal force

pressing the surfaces together. Thus, Ff = n, where Ff is the magnitude of the force of

friction, n is the magnitude of the normal force, and is the coefficient of friction. A method

of checking the above relationship is to have one of the surfaces in the form of a horizontal

plane, with a pulley fastened at one end. The other surface belongs to a box to which is

attached a cord passing over the pulley and carrying weights. These weights may be varied

until the box moves uniformly when given a small push. The normal force magnitude

between the two surfaces can be changed by placing weights in the box, and the

relationship between the coefficient of friction, the force of friction, and the normal force

can thus be tested.

Another method of investigating the relationship is to experimentally determine the

acceleration of a box sliding down an inclined plane. By starting the box from rest and

timing a known distance, the acceleration can be calculated. From a free-body diagram, the

relationship between the angle of incline, the normal force, and the friction force can be

determined.

The limiting angle of repose is the smallest angle at which an object will just being to slide

down an inclined plane without being pushed to get it started. The coefficient of static

friction is equal to the tangent of the limiting angle of repose. When actual sliding is taking

place, the frictional force acting is slightly lower than the maximum static frictional force

that acts just before the object starts to slide. Thus, the coefficient of kinetic friction is lower

than the coefficient of static friction.

2

Theoretical Methodology

Physical science background

The coefficient of friction between two surfaces is a number that determines how much

force is required to move an object that is held back by friction when the two surfaces are

pressed together.

The friction equation is Fr = fr x N, where Fr is the resistive force of friction or the amount of

force required to overcome friction, fr is the coefficient of friction between the two

surfaces, and N is the normal or perpendicular force pushing the two surfaces together. If

the force pushing to surfaces together is gravity, then N equals the weight of the upper

object.

Static and kinetic friction

For a sliding object, the static coefficient of friction results in the force required to start the

object moving. Once the object is sliding at a steady rate, the kinetic coefficient of friction

results in the force required to keep the object moving at that velocity.

Using ramp

A clever way to determine the static coefficient of friction is to start an object sliding down a

ramp. The component of gravitational force that causes the object to just start moving is

equal to the resistive force to keep the object stationary. That is the static force of friction.

The coefficient of friction is always for two surfaces. For example, you could find the friction

between wood and steel, wood on wood, rubber on wet pavement, and so on. Knowing the

force required to overcome the friction and the force pushing the object onto the ramp, will

allow you to determine the static coefficient of friction.

3

Mathematics

The coefficient of friction is calculated using trigonometry. Consider the triangle in the

drawing below.

Angles involved

C is the length of your ramp, which is inclined at an angle a and is at a height of A. The

length of the sides of the triangle are A, B, and C. The relationship between the sides are the

trigonometric functions sine of angle a, which is abbreviated sin(a), cosine

of a or cos(a) and tangent of a or tan(a).

Since sin(a) = A / C and cos(a) = B / C, then sin(a) / cos(a) = tan(a).

Components of gravity

When an object that weighs W is on a ramp, the force of gravity can be divided into

components in perpendicular directions.

Normal force component

The force pushing the object against the surface of the ramp is reduced because of the

incline. The normal force N = W x cos(a), as show in the picture below. In the case where

there is no incline, a = 0 degrees and N = W.

Components on ramp

Component down the ramp

The component of gravity is pulling the object along the ramp is F = W x sin(a).

4

Object starts to move

Now when the angle a become steep enough, the object starts to move and F = Fr, which is

the force of static friction required to start the object moving.

But you know that Fr = fr x N.

And for the object on the ramp, N = W x cos(a).

Thus W x sin(a) = fr x W x cos(a).

Using a little Algebra, we get fr = sin(a) / cos(a) or fr = tan(a).

Finally, since tan(a) = A / B, we have fr = A / B.

So, the most important thing is the angle the object starts to slide or the lengths of its sides,

and you can easily determine the coefficient of friction between the two surfaces.

Theory : Consider the body of mass m, on an inclined

plane as shown in the figure at the side. On the onset of

slipping, the forces on the body is in equilibrium.

Considering the forces parallel to the plane, f mg sin = 0 (a)

F is the frictional forces which always oppose motion, f = N (b)

N is the reaction force by yhe surface on the body, N = mg cos (c)

Hence, equation (a) becomes , mg cos mg sin = 0

= tan (d)

5

Apparatus and Experimental Set Up

Apparatus :

1. Steel block

2. Wooden block

3. Retort Stand

4. Wood Surface

5. Tile Surface

6. String

7. Long ruler

Experimental Set Up :

1. The length of the base plane of both plane (wood and tile) is measured.

2. A string is let through a pulley and tied to a centre point of the breadth of inclined

plane.

3. A steel block is placed on the wooden surface which to be inclined.

4. The string is being pulled through a roller slowly as the plane start to incline. The

string is continued to be pulled until the block start to slide.

5. The height of the inclined plane once the steel block slide is marked down and

measured.

6. The steps is repeated several time and the average angle of the inclined plane is

calculated.

7. Step 1-6 is repeated for three sides of the steel block.

8. The same steps 1-7 is repeated for wooden block on tile surface and steel block on

tile surface.

Observation and Data Collection

Observation

1. From what had been observed, the three sides of the both wooden block and steel

block is not having the same roughness. Every each sides having different level of

roughness.

2. The retort stand and the pulley is not that capable to withstand the weight of both

steel and wooden block.

3. The plane used to set up this experiment also consumes an increment in weight.

4. The pulley is not smooth and makes the pulling process jerks. It makes the process

difficult to handle and can lead to errors in result if it jerks.

6

5. The size of the string is small compared to the weight of the block. It requires more

energy to pull the string.

6. The floor where the experiment had been done not smooth and flat perfectly.

Data collection

The length of the base of the plane : 91cm / 0.91m

The height of the inclination : varies

Result , Analysis and Discussion

Result

(a) Steel block and wood (inclined surface)

Sides of

block

tan .

=

1

2

3

4

Average

tan 35.5/91

= 21.3

tan 37/91

= 22.1

tan 36.5/91

= 21.9

tan 36.2/91

= 21.7

tan 36.3/91

= 21.7

0.399

tan 35/91

= 21.3

tan 36.5/91

= 21.9

tan 36.2/91

= 21.7

tan 35.2/91

= 21.1

tan 35.7/91

= 21.4

0.393

tan 20.5/91

=12.7

tan 20.4/91

= 12.6

tan 21.2/91

= 13

tan 20.8/91

= 12.9

tan 20.7/91

= 12.8

0.228

Length of base, l = 91cm/0.91m

Average = 0.34

7

(b) Steel block and tiles (inclined surface)

Sides of

block

tan .

=

1

2

3

4

Average

tan 20.8/91

= 12.9

tan 22.1/91

= 13.7

tan 22.3/91

= 13.8

tan 21.4/91

= 13.2

tan 21.7/91

= 13.4

0.237

tan 16.8/91

= 10.5

tan 16.5/91

= 10.3

tan 16.3/91

= 10.2

tan 16.3/91

= 10.2

tan 16.5/91

= 10.5

0.180

tan 21.8/91

=13.5

tan 21.3/91

= 13.2

tan 20.7/91

= 12.8

tan 21.4/91

= 13.2

tan 21.3/91

= 13.2

0.233

Length of base, l = 91cm/0.91m

Average = 0.217

8

(c) Wooden block and tiles (inclined surface)

Sides of

block

tan .

=

1

2

3

4

Average

tan 33.4/91

= 20.2

tan 33.1/91

= 20

tan 32.9/91

= 19.9

tan 32.6/91

= 19.7

tan 33/91

= 20

0.361

tan 25/91

= 15.4

tan 24.6/91

= 15.1

tan 24.3/91

= 15

tan 24.4/91

= 15

tan 24.6/91

= 15.1

0.269

tan 38/91

=22.7

tan 37.5/91

= 22.4

tan 37.2/91

= 22.2

tan 37.2/91

= 22.2

tan 37.5/91

= 22.32

0.410

Length of base, l = 91cm/0.91m

Average = 0.347

Analysis

1. The larger surface of contact of the block the higher the coefficient of friction.

2. The increment in angle of inclination makes a different in results.

3. Average of table (a) is 0.34 , (b) is 0.217 and (c) is 0.347.

4. Average in (b) quite far from the others might be encountered having some errors

where none of the experiment would be accurate and precise.

9

Discussion

1. Based on the results we gained from this experiment, we conclude that every each

type of block and surface material have different coefficient of friction, .

2. The average from three types of surface and block is not consistent because of the

surface material of plane and also block.

3. Some errors also been encountered during this experiment. First of all is the retort

stand. The retort stand used is not stable and could not withstand the load of the

block. It gives difference in result as well.

4. The pulley is not smooth and stuck sometimes resulting in jerking while pulling the

string. The plane jerks and it made the block slide without the real inclination height.

5. The string which having very small thickness also play role in this experiment.

Difficulties and more energy needed while pulling the string which having small

thickness.

6. Inconsistent rate of force when pulling the string also would affect the result. A

consistent force would prevent the plane from jerks and thus for a correct height of

inclination.

7. The plane having some sticky thing on it which might affect the result.

Conclusion

From this experiment, a conclusion of main factor that affecting the static coefficient of

friction is the surface material in contact can made. Both surface material of blocks and the

plane are what is meant as two surfaces in contact.

Recommendation

1. For a best result, clean both the surface of block and plane for a smoother sliding of

the block on the plane.

2. Use a bigger retort stand for a bigger load for a consistent reading or else use a

retort stand with capable to withstand the specimen(block) load.

3. Usage of better specimen(block) with minimum surface roughness to reduce error.

4. A smoother rolling pulley will be good to prevent jerking while carry out the pulling

process.

5. A thicker string should be use to minimize the energy while pulling the string. This

can also prevent jerking.

6. Both pulley and string should be met suitable size to each other. Both pulley and

string should be in sizes that it can work smoothly.

7. Put some oil on the pulley to make it smooth.

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