Letter | Published:

Sliding friction of rubber

Naturevolume 257pages118120 (1975) | Download Citation



WE report experiments demonstrating that it is possible to predict quantitatively the level of friction arising when a smooth rubber sphere slides on glass. Analysis of the sliding friction is based on a surface energy approach. Observations show that when a smooth rubber surface advances over glass by a continuous peel process (Schallamach waves) the work done in the region of contact can be calculated in terms of a rate-dependent surface energy and thus an expression found for the tangential frictional stress required to maintain uniform relative motion between the surfaces. In some cases predicted and observed frictional stresses agree to within 10%.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Schallamach, A., Wear, 17, 301–312 (1971).

  2. 2

    Barquins, M., and Courtel, R., Wear, 32, 133–150 (1975).

  3. 3

    Gent, A. N., Wear, 29, 111–116 (1974).

  4. 4

    Roberts, A. D., and Thomas, A. G., Wear, 33, 45–64 (1975).

  5. 5

    Kendall, K., J. Polym. Sci. A2, 12, 295–301 (1974).

  6. 6

    Gent, A. N., and Petrich, R. P., Proc. R. Soc., A 310, 433–448 (1969).

  7. 7

    Andrews, E. H., and Kinloch, A. J., J. Polym. Sci. A2, 11, 269–273 (1973).

  8. 8

    Gent, A. N., and Schultz, J., Proc. Int. Rubber Conf., paper C1 (IRI, London, 1972).

  9. 9

    Roberts, A. D., J. Phys. D., 4, 423–432 (1971).

  10. 10

    Roberts, A. D., Eng. Mater. Des., 11, 579–580 (1968).

  11. 11

    Johnson, K. L., Kendall, K., and Roberts, A. D., Proc. R. Soc., A 324, 301–313 (1971).

Download references

Author information


  1. Malaysian Rubber Producers' Research Association, Brickendonbury, Hertford, SG13 8NP, UK

    • A. D. ROBERTS
    •  & S. A. JACKSON


  1. Search for A. D. ROBERTS in:

  2. Search for S. A. JACKSON in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.