Sound and Vibration from Friction between Soft Materials under Light Loads

Prof. Adnan Akay, BILKENT University, Ankara (Turkey)

24 Oct 2013, 17:00–18:30; Location: S4|10-1

Understanding the properties and consequences of friction under light normal loads is fundamental to further advancing areas such as tactile sensing, haptic systems used in robotic gripping of sensitive objects, and characterization of products that range from the softness of fabrics to effects of surfactants, such as lotions, on skin. In tactile sensing, as a finger is lightly rubbed over a surface, the mechanoreceptors in the dermis become excited and send signals to the brain for processing. Their excitation results from the asperities, adhesion, and other geometric and chemical surface properties that come into contact with the skin. These same sources also give rise to vibration and sound as two surfaces are in sliding contact even under light load, such as a finger pad over a silk fabric. Whereas the mechanoreceptors respond around 200 - 300 Hertz, spectrum of the actual sounds and vibrations that are generated can go beyond these values, thus presenting additional opportunities for surface characterization through acoustic response. A modest body of literature exists on the acoustic response of soft surfaces under friction. However, only a limited number of those address friction sounds and vibrations under light loads. Much of the previous work in this area relates to perception and tactile sensing with limited attention to the generation mechanisms of sound and vibration between soft surfaces. This paper describes a new apparatus to measure friction simultaneously with dynamic quantities such as accelerations, forces, and sound pressures resulting from a light contact over a soft material, much like a friction finger lightly rubbing over a soft material.

Category: CE Seminar


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