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Current Friction News and Events, Friction News Articles.
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'Lubricating' sediments were critical in making the continents move
Plate tectonics is a key geological process on Earth, shaping its surface, making it unique among the Solar System's planets. Yet, how plate tectonics emerged and which factors controlled its evolution remains controversial. Now, researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, the University of Potsdam and the University of Maryland, in a study published in Nature, propose that natural lubrication by debris from surface erosion was crucial in starting and maintaining plate tectonics. (2019-06-05)

Glacial sediments greased the gears of plate tectonics
According to new research, the transition to plate tectonics started with the help of lubricating sediments, scraped by glaciers from the slopes of Earth's first continents. As these sediments collected along the world's young coastlines, they helped to accelerate the motion of newly formed subduction faults. The study, published in the journal Nature, is the first to suggest a role for sediments in the emergence and evolution of global plate tectonics. (2019-06-05)

New device sheds light on mechanism, efficacy of arthritis treatment
The debate over how one of the most popular osteoarthritis treatments should be federally regulated could change, thanks to a Cornell University study and a new device that provides a better understanding of the science behind hyaluronic acid (HA) injections. (2019-06-03)

Great chocolate is a complex mix of science, physicists reveal
The science of what makes good chocolate has been revealed by researchers studying a 140-year-old mixing technique. (2019-05-08)

Modified 'white graphene' for eco-friendly energy
Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), together with colleagues from the United States and Germany, have found a way to obtain inexpensive catalysts from hexagonal boron nitride or ''white graphene''. The technology can be used in the production of environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel. (2019-04-22)

The mystery of touch and how we feel about it
The mechanism of tactile sensation has not yet been solved though it is the basic sense of humans. NITech scientists investigated its mechanism and found the important cues in touch could be different for each person. When humans evaluate the roughness, different individuals weigh skin vibration information, spatial information, and other mechanical properties differently. The goal is to establish an estimation model of perceptual roughness ratings involving individual differences in the cognitive weights. (2019-03-29)

Stanford autonomous car learns to handle unknown conditions
In order to make autonomous cars navigate more safely in difficult conditions -- like icy roads -- researchers are developing new control systems that learn from real-world driving experiences while leveraging insights from physics. (2019-03-27)

Ankle exoskeleton fits under clothes for potential broad adoption
The device does not require additional components such as batteries or actuators carried on the back or waist. (2019-03-22)

How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity
A young researcher at EPFL has demonstrated that the viscosity of fluids present in faults has a direct effect on the intensity of earthquakes. (2019-03-20)

Are we at the limits of measuring water-repellent surfaces
As we develop extremely liquid repellent surfaces, the errors in existing measurement techniques are getting too large (2019-03-14)

New technology accelerates the science of deceleration
While it's not a case of reinventing the wheel, researchers are looking at ways to improve standard braking equipment on trains and cars. By mixing carbon fibers into polymer-based brakes, a group of researchers at UBC Okanagan, Sharif University of Technology in Iran and the University of Toronto were able to design brakes that are self-lubricating. (2019-03-13)

Tracking firefighters in burning buildings
McMaster researchers, working with partners at other universities, have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen. (2019-03-01)

Fabric the reinforcer
Scientists from NUST MISIS have tested experimental composite materials for aircraft brakes. New materials, reinforced by carbon 'fabric', have turned out to be far more durable than the current analogues. As a result of testing, the scientists developed recommendations to improve the fracture toughness of both existing and developed composite materials for braking systems, which in the long term can improve the reliability and safety of aircraft operation and reduce maintenance costs. (2019-02-19)

How bees stay cool on hot summer days
Harvard researchers have developed a framework that explains how bees use environmental signals to collectively cluster and continuously ventilate the hive. (2019-02-08)

Fluid dynamics simulation reveals the underlying physics of liquid jet cleaning
Semiconductor manufacturing involve cleaning processes, and it's become highly desirable to use physical cleaning techniques such as liquid jets or underwater ultrasound instead of toxic chemicals. Now, mechanical engineers specializing in the mechanism of fluid motion at Keio University have unveiled the underlying physics of what happens when liquid jet collisions strike surfaces to be cleaned. They report their work in the journal Physics of Fluids. (2019-01-29)

Smart, self-powered knee implants could reduce number of knee replacement surgeries
Smart knee implants may soon be a reality thanks to research conducted by a team including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. (2019-01-29)

Static electricity could charge our electronics
Static electricity is one of the most common, yet poorly understand, forms of power generation. A new study suggests the cause of this hair-raising phenomenon is tiny structural changes that occur at the surface of materials when they come into contact with each other. The finding could someday help technology companies create more sustainable and longer-lasting power sources for small electronic devices. (2019-01-25)

Identifying the origin of macroscopic friction between clay mineral surfaces
NIMS, the University of Tokyo and Hiroshima University jointly discovered for the first time, through theoretical calculation and experiment that macroscopic frictions occurring between clay mineral surfaces originate from interatomic electrostatic forces between these surfaces. This finding may facilitate the design of solid lubricant materials and understanding of earthquake-causing fault slip mechanisms. (2019-01-24)

Strong interactions produce a dance between light and sound
Light and high-frequency acoustic sound waves in a tiny glass structure can strongly couple to one another and perform a dance in step. (2018-12-21)

A new model of ice friction helps scientists understand how glaciers flow
Despite the looming ecological consequences, glacier motion remains poorly understood. The bedrock, the ice-bed interface and the water-filled cavities all affect friction and influence how the ice will flow, but studying these poses challenges -- remote radar sensing can track glacial movement, but it can't measure detailed properties of the ice and rock. In the Journal of Chemical Physics, Bo Persson describes a new model of ice friction that offers crucial insight into glacier flows. (2018-12-18)

New method automatically computes realistic movement with friction from 3D design
Researchers from Inria, the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics, have developed a novel algorithm that computes the shape of the surface at rest, that is, without any external force, and when this shape is deformed under gravity, contact and friction, it precisely matches the shape the user has designed. (2018-11-28)

Houston's urban sprawl increased rainfall, flooding during Hurricane Harvey
Princeton and University of Iowa researchers found that Houston's urban landscape directly contributed to the torrential rainfall and deadly flooding of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They report in the journal Nature that Houston's risk for extreme flooding was 21 times greater due to urbanization. The results highlight the human role in extreme weather events and the need to consider urban and suburban development when calculating hurricane risk. (2018-11-14)

Study advocates psychological screening for the carers of child burn victims
A new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology highlights the need for psychological screening for families/primary caregivers after a child sustains a burn injury. (2018-11-06)

Laboratory experiments probe the formation of stars and planets
The cosmos is a void dotted with stars and an ever-increasing number of newly-observed planets beyond our solar system. Yet, how these stars and planets formed out of clouds of interstellar dust and gas remains mysterious. The study of black holes provides clues that could help solve this mystery. (2018-11-05)

Trust in others predicts mortality in the United States
Do you trust other people? It may prolong your life. According to a study by researchers from Lund University and Stockholm University, people who trust others live longer -- Those who do not increase their risk of a shortened life. The study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (2018-10-25)

Elephant trunks form joints to pick up small objects; research could translate to robotics
Understanding how elephants use their trunks to pick up small objects could lead to robots designed with flexible hands or grippers, according to a new study that includes Rochester Institute of Technology research. (2018-10-24)

New composite materials prolong the service life of spare parts for equipment and vehicles
Studies have shown that hybrid powder materials based on natural layered silicates developed by the chemists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) decrease the friction ratio in metals sevenfold. (2018-10-09)

Flowing salt water over this super-hydrophobic surface can generate electricity
Engineers have developed a super-hydrophobic surface that can be used to generate electrical voltage. When salt water flows over this specially patterned surface, it can produce at least 50 millivolts. The proof-of-concept work could lead to the development of new power sources for lab-on-a-chip platforms and other microfluidics devices. It could someday be extended to energy harvesting methods in water desalination plants, researchers said. (2018-10-03)

Tiny soft robot with multilegs paves way for drugs delivery in human body
A novel tiny, soft robot with caterpillar-like legs capable of carrying heavy loads and adaptable to adverse environment was developed from a research led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU). This mini delivery-robot could pave way for medical technology advancement such as drugs delivery in human body. (2018-09-26)

Unprecedented ice loss in Russian ice cap
In the last few years, the Vavilov Ice Cap in the Russian High Arctic has dramatically accelerated, sliding as much as 82 feet a day in 2015, according to a new multi-national, multi-institute study led by CIRES Fellow Mike Willis, an assistant professor of Geology at CU Boulder. That dwarfs the ice's previous average speed of about 2 inches per day and has challenged scientists' assumptions about the stability of the cold ice caps dotting Earth's high latitudes. (2018-09-19)

Particles surf their own waves, reveal how microbes and cells move through human body
Surf's up for microbes swimming beside red blood cells. New calculations and experiments model for the first time how spherical particles submerged in gooey liquid travel along a flexible rubber sheet; comparable conditions are common in the human body, such as blood cells flowing through a capillary or the journeys of self-propelled microbes. All these particles, it turns out, catch a wave. (2018-09-17)

Oregon researchers offer new way to see dirty underside of glaciers
Accurate projections of sea level rise require sophisticated models for glacier flow, but current approaches do a poor job capturing the physical processes that control how fast glaciers slide over sediments, according to University of Oregon researchers. In a new study, they've proposed a theoretical approach that sheds light on the dirty, dark undersides of glaciers and improve the modeling of ice flow. (2018-09-03)

Friction loss at first contact: The material does not forgive
Wear has major impacts on economic efficiency or health. All movable parts are affected, examples being the bearing of a wind power plant or an artificial hip joint. However, the exact cause of wear is still unclear. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) recently proved that the effect occurs at the first contact already and always takes place at the same point of the material. Their findings help develop optimized materials and reduce consumption of energy and raw materials. (2018-08-30)

Twisted electronics open the door to tunable 2D materials
Columbia University researchers report an advance that may revolutionize the field of 2D materials such as graphene: a 'twistronic' device whose characteristics can be varied by simply varying the angle between two different 2D layers placed on top of one another. The device provides unprecedented control over the angular orientation in twisted-layer devices, and enables researchers to study the effects of twist angle on electronic, optical, and mechanical properties in a single device. (2018-08-16)

Microscale superlubricity could pave way for future improved electromechanical devices
A new joint Tel Aviv University/Tsinghua University study finds that robust superlubricity can be achieved using graphite and hexagonal boron nitride, which exhibit ultra-low friction and wear. This is an important milestone for future technological applications in the space, automotive, electronics and medical industries. (2018-08-01)

World's fastest man-made spinning object could help study quantum mechanics
Researchers have created the fastest man-made spinning object in the world, which they believe will help them study material science, quantum mechanics and the properties of vacuum. (2018-07-20)

Swimming bacteria work together to go with the flow
Swimming bacteria can reduce the viscosity of ordinary liquids like water and make them flow more easily, sometimes down to the point where the viscosity becomes zero: the flow is then frictionless. (2018-07-04)

Next-generation robotic cockroach can explore under water environments
In nature, cockroaches can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes. Now, a robotic cockroach can do even better. Harvard's Ambulatory Microrobot, known as HAMR, can walk on land, swim on the surface of water, and walk underwater for as long as necessary, opening up new environments for this little bot to explore. (2018-07-02)

Study yields a new scale of earthquake understanding
Nanoscale knowledge of the relationships between water, friction and mineral chemistry could lead to a better understanding of earthquake dynamics, researchers said in a new study. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used microscopic friction measurements to confirm that, under the right conditions, some rocks can dissolve and may cause faults to slip. (2018-06-27)

A multifunctional, multiscale, reconfigurable surface
An international team of researchers, led by Harvard University, have developed a dynamic surface with reconfigurable topography that can sculpt and re-sculpt microscale to macroscale features, change its friction and slipperiness, and tune other properties based on its proximity to a magnetic field. (2018-06-25)

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