Friction coefficient

The term friction coefficient, also known as friction factor, belongs to the field of tribology. It is a dimension-free, physical measurement that defines the relationship between the frictional and contact forces between two bodies.

Friction coefficient

What is the friction coefficient?

The friction between bodies depends on multiple factors, such as, material pairings, surface texture, temperature, normal force, sliding speed and any applied lubricants.In physics, there is a difference between static friction and kinetic friction. Kinetic friction is where the contact surfaces of two components move relative to one another. This is not the case in static friction and, for example, ensures the movement of a car tyre on the road.The rougher the texture of the surface, the higher the friction coefficient and thus the greater the wear to parts as caused by abrasion. The harder material wears down the softer counterpart. A lack of lubrication between two kinetic friction partners moving against each other will result in increased wear.When the friction is lubricated, the material surfaces do not actually come into direct contact and are thus protected.The friction coefficient of steels is often measured on polished surfaces in order to exclude mechanical form fit. The calculation generally results from tested measured values determined under real conditions.

Reducing the friction coefficient

Achieving as low a friction coefficient as possible is advantageous when it comes to preventing wear, since this is associated with a higher abrasion resistance of the material.In order to reduce the friction coefficient of stainless steel and, at the same time, increase the wear resistance, stainless steel may be hardened using BORINOX®. Hardened stainless steel has a lower friction coefficient compared to unhardened steel.

The BORINOX® procedure from BorTec is capable of creating a surface that is at least 5 times harder. The positive properties of stainless steel, such as corrosion resistance, robustness and optics, are not affected. For this reason, the BORINOX® procedure is particularly well suited for finishing stainless steels.