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Beatriz H. Thames and Stacey L. Gorniak

When humans adjust their grip to prevent the slipping of objects grasped by the fingertips, the component of their grip force (the force normal to the object surface) generated at the fingertips must be sufficient to generate a tangential frictional force that can prevent slip. 1 This sufficient

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Adriana V. Savescu, Mark L. Latash and Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

This article proposes a technique to calculate the coefficient of friction for the fingertip– object interface. Twelve subjects (6 males and 6 females) participated in two experiments. During the first experiment (the imposed displacement method), a 3-D force sensor was moved horizontally while the subjects applied a specified normal force (4 N, 8 N, 12 N) on the surface of a sensor covered with different materials (sandpaper, cotton, rayon, polyester, and silk).The normal force and the tangential force (i.e., the force due to the sensor motion) were recorded. The coefficient of frictiond) was calculated as the ratio between the tangential force and the normal force. In the second experiment (the beginning slip method), a small instrumented object was gripped between the index finger and the thumb, held stationary in the air, and then allowed to drop. The weight (200 g, 500 g, and 1,000 g) and the surface (sandpaper, cotton, rayon, polyester, and silk) in contact with the digits varied across trials. The same sensor as in the first experiment was used to record the normal force (in a horizontal direction) and the tangential force (in the vertical direction). The slip force (i.e., the minimal normal force or grip force necessary to prevent slipping) was estimated as the force at the moment when the object just began to slip. The coefficient of friction was calculated as the ratio between the tangential force and the slip force. The results show that (1) the imposed displacement method is reliable; (2) except sandpaper, for all other materials the coefficient of friction did not depend on the normal force; (3) the skin–sandpaper coefficient of friction was the highest µd = 0.96 ± 0.09 (for 4-N normal force) and the skin–rayon rayon coefficient of friction was the smallest µd = 0.36 ± 0.10; (4) no significant difference between the coefficients of friction determined with the imposed displacement method and the beginning slip method was observed. We view the imposed displacement technique as having an advantage as compared with the beginning slip method, which is more cumbersome (e.g., dropped object should be protected from impacts) and prone to subjective errors owing to the uncertainty in determining the instance of the slip initiation (i.e., impeding sliding).

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Matthew A. Kilgas, Scott N. Drum, Randall L. Jensen, Kevin C. Phillips and Phillip B. Watts

Rock climbers believe chalk dries the hands of sweat and improves the static coefficient of friction between the hands and the surface of the rock. The purpose of this study was to assess whether chalk affects geometric entropy or muscular activity during rock climbing. Nineteen experienced recreational rock climbers (13 males, 6 females; 173.5 ± 7.0 cm; 67.5 ± 3.4 kg) completed 2 climbing trails with and without chalk. The body position of the climber and muscular activity of the finger flexors was recorded throughout the trial. Following the movement sequence participants hung from a standard climbing hold until they slipped from the climbing structure, while the coefficient of friction and the ratio of the vertical forces on the hands and feet were determined. Although there were no differences in the coefficient of friction (P = .748), geometric entropy (P = .359), the ratio of the vertical forces between the hands and feet (P = .570), or muscular activity (P = .968), participants were able to hang longer after the use of chalk 62.9 ± 36.7 s and 49.3 ± 25.2 s (P = .046). This is advantageous because it may allow for prolonged rests, and more time to plan the next series of climbing moves.

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Bart Van Gheluwe and Eric Deporte

Tennis movements are characterized essentially by lateral displacements, thus external load on the lower extremities is created predominantly by friction generated between shoes and playing surfaces. This study analyzed the behavior of frictional forces and torques produced during an open stance forehand using various playing surfaces and different sport shoes. The frictional data were obtained from 12 advanced players returning a tennis ball fired from a ball machine and hitting a large Kistler force plate located at the base line of the tennis court. Using statistical ANOVA techniques, friction was found to be more sensitive to the choice of playing surface than to the choice of tennis shoe. “Fluid” type surfaces displayed the lowest frictional values in most cases. Additionally, comparison of the frictional data collected during the forehand with the measurements from a standardized laboratory test demonstrated that extrapolation of friction results from laboratory to real field conditions may lead to erroneous conclusions.

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Hans Jobse, Ruud Schuurhof, Ferenc Cserep, A. Wim Schreurs and Jos J. de Koning

Portable equipment for active measurements of push-off force and ice friction was developed. The equipment consists of a pair of skates with three measuring elements between the shoe and the skate blade to register force in both fore/aft and normal direction. A portable computer samples the friction force and normal force signals during one or more strokes, calculates the mean coefficient of ice friction, and stores the sampled data in memory. The push-off force and ice friction force were measured. The peak push-off forces reach values of up to 140% of body weight. The magnitude of the coefficient of ice friction varies, depending on the weather conditions and preparatory method, generally between 0.003 and 0.007 when skating the straightaway. During the skating of the curves the coefficient of ice friction is 35% higher, most likely due to the different skating technique in the curves.

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Steven L. Fischer, Bryan R. Picco, Richard P. Wells and Clark R. Dickerson

Exerting manual forces is critical during occupational performance. Therefore, being able to estimate maximum force capacity is particularly useful for determining how these manual exertion demands relate to available capacity. To facilitate this type of prediction requires a complete understanding of how maximum force capacity is governed biomechanically. This research focused on identifying how factors including joint moment strength, balance and shoe-floor friction affected hand force capacity during pulling, pressing downward and pushing medially. To elucidate potential limiting factors, joint moments were calculated and contrasted with reporte joint strength capacities, the balancing point within the shoe-floor interface was calculated and expresess relative to the area defined by the shoe-floor interface, and the net applied horizontal forces were compare with the available friction. Each of these variables were calculated as participants exerted forces in a series o conditions designed to systematically control or restrict certain factors from limiting hand force capacity. The results demonstrated that hand force capacity, in all tested directions, was affected by the experimental conditions (up to 300%). Concurrently, biomechanical measures reached or surpassed reported criterion threshold inferring specific biomechanical limitations. Downward exertions were limited by elbow strength, wherea pulling exertions were often limited by balance along the anterior-posterior axis. No specific limitations wer identified for medial exertions.

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Dennis E. Anderson, Christopher T. Franck and Michael L. Madigan

The effects of gait speed and step length on the required coefficient of friction (COF) confound the investigation of age-related differences in required COF. The goals of this study were to investigate whether age differences in required COF during self-selected gait persist when experimentally-controlling speed and step length, and to determine the independent effects of speed and step length on required COF. Ten young and 10 older healthy adults performed gait trials under five gait conditions: self-selected, slow and fast speeds without controlling step length, and slow and fast speeds while controlling step length. During self-selected gait, older adults walked with shorter step lengths and exhibited a lower required COF. Older adults also exhibited a lower required COF when walking at a controlled speed without controlling step length. When both age groups walked with the same speed and step length, no age difference in required COF was found. Thus, speed and step length can have a large influence on studies investigating age-related differences in required COF. It was also found that speed and step length have independent and opposite effects on required COF, with step length having a strong positive effect on required COF, and speed having a weaker negative effect.

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José María Rodríguez-Lelis, Dagoberto Tolosa Mata, Marciano Vargas-Treviño, José Navarro-Torres, Gilberto Piña-Piña and Arturo Abundez-Pliego

In the present work, based on high frequency wavelet analysis of dynamic signals of mechanical systems, a multiple-resolution wavelet analysis is carried out, to the signal obtained from an accelerometer mounted on the structure of a hip prosthesis wearing test device. The prostheses employed had a femoral head made of aluminum oxide and the acetabular cup of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. The first two aluminum oxide femoral heads were coated with diamond-like carbon and a third one was tested without coating and used as a reference. The coating was carried out by triboadhesion. Tests results showed that maximum vibration amplitude reached after 32 hr for the coated prostheses was 0.2 g. The noncoated prosthesis amplitude presented was 0.75 g in the same time interval. These values were attributed to wear damage on the surface of the prostheses, indicating that thin film DLC coating caused an increase of stiffness on the surface and therefore an increase in wear resistance approximately of 314%.

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Sauli Savolainen and Reijo Visuri

In this review we analyze competition sports, particularly downhill speed skiing and cross-country skiing, in terms of physical performance. The effects of various forces/parameters on athletic performance are summarized, and metabolic energy cost and mechanical power output are reviewed. The primary factors contributing to energy loss in the athlete are drag, friction between athlete and ground, and gravitational force (i.e., the movement of body segments in the gravitational field). According to previous reports the latter is the most significant factor. However, estimated levels of energy expenditure, occurring as a direct result of gravitational force, vary considerably depending on the method used in the analysis. We also demonstrate the importance of changes in friction and drag in athletic performance, using practical examples from skiing.

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Abderrehmane Rahmani, Alain Belli, Tomasz Kostka, Georges Dalleau, Marc Bonnefoy and Jean-Rene Lacour

This paper describes the application of the inverse dynamic method developed by Bosco and colleagues for measuring the mechanical properties of knee extensor muscles under ballistic conditions. Twenty elderly men performed a series of maximal ballistic leg extensions at different loads. Accurate measurements of friction and inertial effects during the movement were used to calculate the torque and power produced during extension. The error of the results was 6.2–45.3% when the friction and inertial effects were neglected. The torque-angular velocity relationships were linear (r = 0.92 to 0.99, p < .001). The peak measurements obtained were in agreement with published isokinetic values. This new ergometer allows assessment of movements similar to those performed in day-to-day activities and can be used. without training, by elderly or disabled subjects.