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Effective Contact Stresses and Friction

Naturevolume 191pages376377 (1961) | Download Citation


  • An Erratum to this article was published on 21 October 1961


THE earliest statement concerning statical frictional forces between rigid bodies is usually attributed to Coulomb (about 1776). The principle of Coulombic friction is that the force (F) required to generate translation of one body relative to another is directly proportional to the external force (W) transmitted across the contact plane, so that: F = µ W (1) Where µ is the coefficient of (static) friction.

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  1. 1

    Bowden and Tabor, The Friction and Lubrication of Solids (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1950).

  2. 2

    Terzaghi, K., Erdbaumechanik auf Boden – Physikalischer Grundlage (Franz Deuticke, Vienna, 1925).

  3. 3

    Skempton, A. W., in Terzaghi, From Theory to Practice in Soil Mechanics (Wiley, 1960).

  4. 4

    Trollope, D. H., Proc. Third Austral.–N.Z. Conf. S.M. and F.E., Sydney (in the press).

  5. 5

    Boas, W., Interparticle Forces in Clay–Water–Electrolyte Systems : A Symposium (C.S.I.R.O., Melbourne, 1960).

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  1. Civil Engineering Department, University of Melbourne

    • D. H. TROLLOPE


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