Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Bernard Friedland

Second Advisor

Avraham Harnoy

Third Advisor

David A. Haessig


Friction has been known as a phenomenon since Leonardo da Vinci era. From that time and through the last four centuries, scientists tried to understand this phenomenon in an effort to overcome its undesired side effects which include energy loss, parts wearing, and errors in control systems. Much has been achieved in studying friction and many experiments have been conducted in this field. These experiments resulted in a mounting evidence that friction is a dynamic phenomenon.

This thesis presents an apparatus that measures dynamic friction in linear motion and the results obtained using this apparatus. The apparatus consists of a reciprocating platform and a Test Mass on top of it. The platform moves in a sinusoidal pattern with user changeable frequencies and amplitudes. The ultimate objective of the apparatus is to measure the acceleration and the relative velocity of the Test Mass to produce a friction coefficient vs. velocity curve that is used in studying friction. The force needed to move the base is provided by two solenoids which are controlled through a C++ program that allows real-time control. A graphical user interface (GUI) has been developed to allow the user to change the frequency and amplitude of the motion. The results, presented in this thesis, are from experiments with different frequencies, amplitudes, materials and loads.