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Friction in nature

Liskiewicz, T., Morina, A. and Neville, A. (2008) Friction in nature. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment : Design and Nature IV, 114. pp. 263-272. ISSN 1743-3541


Nature has found a number of ways to efficiently tackle friction problems. It has solutions to provide ultra low friction in the case of lubricated systems, ultra high friction in the case of adhesives or in some cases even controlled adaptable friction performance. Frictional surfaces can be found on different scales in nature from a nanometre scale to a macro scale. From a wide variety of natural systems synovial joints have probably attracted more research attention than other systems and this is fully justified as they are examples of ideal synergy between lubrication process and materials technology. Other examples include shark skin riblets for drag reduction, hierarchical structures for maximum adhesion or mucus and slime for an improved slip. In this contribution a summary of natural frictional systems is presented. Several examples of the successful use of biomimicry for the manipulation of the interface to provide the desired functions are presented here. Finally directions of further exploitation of a biomimetic approach in tribology are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: friction, biomimetics, surface engineering, hierarchical structures, drag reduction, adhesion, nano-technology, lubrication.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Mechanical Engineering (Leeds) > Institute of Engineering Thermofluids, Surfaces & Interfaces (iETSI) (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs Fiona Slade
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2008 12:19
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 01:26
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.2495/DN080271
Status: Published
Publisher: WIT Press
Identification Number: 10.2495/DN080271
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4928

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