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Journal Article


Beschorner KE, Redfern MS, Porter WL, Debski RE. Appl. Ergon. 2007; 38(6): 773-780.


Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 749 Benedum Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


(Copyright © 2007, Elsevier Publishing)






Slips and falls are a major cause of injuries in the workplace. Devices that measure coefficient of friction (COF) of the shoe-floor-contaminant interface are used to evaluate slip resistance in various environments. Testing conditions (e.g. loading rate, timing, normal force, speed, shoe angle) are believed to affect COF measurements; however, the nature of that relationship is not well understood. This study examines the effects of normal force (NF), speed, and shoe angle on COF within physiologically relevant ranges. A polyvinyl chloride shoe was tested using a modified industrial robot that could attain high vertical loads and relatively high speeds. Ground reaction forces were measured with a loadcell to compute COF. Experiment #1 measured COF over a range of NF ( approximately 100-500 N) for two shoe angles (10 degrees and 20 degrees ), four speeds (0.05, 0.20, 0.35, and 0.50 m/s), and two contaminants (diluted detergent and diluted glycerol). Experiment #2 further explored speed effect by testing seven speeds (0.01, 0.05, 0.20, 0.35, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.00 m/s) at a given NF (350 N) and shoe angle (20 degrees ) using the same two contaminants. Experiment #1 showed that faster speeds significantly decreased COF, and that a complex interaction existed between NF and shoe angle. Experiment #2 showed that increasing speed decreased COF asymptotically. The results imply that COF is dependent on film thickness separating the shoe and the heel, which is dependent on speed, shoe angle, and NF, consistent with tribological theory.

Language: en


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