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Tribo (physics)
Pertaining to, or resulting from friction.
[Gr. tri`bein to rub.]

Measuring device: anemometer.
[French -mètre, from Greek metron, measure.]

Tribometer (Webster 1913)
[Gr. tri`bein to rub + -meter: cf. F. tribomètre.]
An instrument to ascertain the degree of friction in rubbing surfaces. Brande & C.

Tribometry is the measurement of friction.
Tribology is the science or the study of friction.
The methodology of precision repeatable and reproducible measurements of friction and wear is called tribometrology.

Early tribometer designs from Leonardo da Vinci

Modern industrial tribometers such as the CETR UMT-3 (shown) can perform practically all common tribological tests, with many different materials, and under a large variety of controlled environmental conditions and lubricants. This type of laboratory tribometer would not be ideal for everyday field testing.

Most portable tribometers are used for measuring the available friction of flooring or walkway surfaces.

Calculating the coefficient of friction, or COF is simply dividing the amount of force it takes to move an object (F) by the Normal force (N) which is basically the overall weight of an object. So if it requires one pound of force to push or pull a two pound object; you have a COF of 0.5

There are two well-known types of COF; static (SCOF) and dynamic / kinetic (DCOF). The static test is only interested in how much force it requires to get an object to move or budge (slip), while the dynamic or kinetic test is interested in how much force it requires to keep the object in motion (slide). Historically, SCOF testing is common in the US, while DCOF is prevalent in Europe.

The BOT-3000E can perform both SCOF and DCOF test types, wet or dry; with a variety of sensor (test foot) materials.

Click image to learn more about friction

Click image to visit the HyperPhysics website at Georgia State University

Both SCOF and DCOF are valuable indicators of the available friction of a walkway surface. You need an adequate SCOF level to help “grab” the floor surface as you step, but a good DCOF level helps prevent a small slip event from becoming a more dangerous slide event, which can result in a fall. Unlike other devices, the BOT-3000E measures both SCOF and DCOF utilizing the same test platform. This is very useful in formulating accident prevention strategies for the risk or safety manager.

Varioustypes of precision measuring instruments and devices require annual(if not more frequent) calibration services to be performed. This isimportant simply because things change. Many factors can affect thedegree of change over time. Temperature variations, moisture, shock,vibration, mechanical stress (often by design), etc, play a role inthe output accuracy and longevity of a device. Anyone who plays apiano, violin, or other stringed musical instrument knows that it mayrequire periodic tuning even if it is rarely played. Some devicesactually fare better with use rather than neglect. This is becausesome components in a mechanical system are often under a degree ofpreload condition and are potentially subject to developing the“mechanical memory” effect. This occurs at a molecular level.Many precision measurement instruments are designed to overcome theeffects of change through periodic adjustments or calibrations. TheBOT-3000E alerts the user when it is time to return the unit to thefactory for the annual calibration and evaluation service. If theunit is not re-calibrated by the due date, a text will appear on eachtest result printout indicating an “out of calibration period”status.

DCOF results with Tek Stil high traction ESD vinyl flooring

DCOF results with common smooth ceramic tile

SCOF results with common smooth ceramic tile

SCOF results with Tek Stil high traction ESD vinyl flooring

Click to view summary

COF Samples2.jpg