List of the Advantages of Friction

Updated April 17, 2017

Newton's First Law of Motion states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless some external force slows or stops it. The force of friction slows objects in motion and reduces the energy behind them. For example, when a kid on a bicycle stops pedalling, the bike slows down due to the friction between the tires and the sidewalk. Friction also creates heat, as when a person rubs their hands together.

Advantages of Friction in Meteorology

Meteorologists found that friction decreased surface wind speeds, making them less volatile. Friction also encourages surface air masses to merge and rise, which aids the rain cycle. Rough terrain, trees and buildings create the friction that acts on wind speeds.

Advatages of Friction for Animals

Friction between animal's feet and the ground makes running and walking easier. In fact, without friction, animals would have difficulty standing. It's like the comic scenario of someone slipping on a banana peel. If there's no friction, people and animals can't walk, because they can't plant their feet firmly on the ground. There's no friction (i.e. traction) to keep their feet from slipping and sliding all over the place.

Advantages of Friction in Everyday Life

In everyday life, friction between the road and a car's tires help the driver control the speed of travel, and applying breaks slows the car to a stop. Friction also makes writing on paper possible. When using a pencil, the paper's friction causes the pencil lead to rub off. When using a ballpoint pen, friction triggers the ball to roll, thereby releasing the pen's ink.

Advantages of Friction in Space Sciences

While in space, meteors and comets have no force to slow them down. As they hit the Earth's atmosphere, however, not only does the atmosphere's friction slow them down, it tends to break them apart into smaller pieces, thereby lessening their impact on the Earth's surface.

Advantages of Friction in Friction Welding

Friction welding works by using a compressive force along with friction-induced heat to join two surfaces together. The friction-induced heating softens the metal components to make them mouldable, at which point the motion needed to create the friction is stopped and the compression force is applied until the joint between the two components cools. This method of welding allows different materials to be joined together (for instance, wood and metal) and increases productivity in mass production industries.

Advantages of Friction in Camping

In a camping or survivalist setting, friction can been use to start friction fires. Friction created by rubbing two pieces of wood together heats the wood until it reaches combustion temperature (around 427 degrees Celsius) and catches fire. For this to work, the wood must be quite dry and have little or no resin present.

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About the Author

Joan Whetzel has been writing professionally since 1998. She has written juvenile nonfiction, movie and television scripts and adult nonfiction. Her juvenile nonfiction has appeared in such magazines as "Tech Directions," "Connect" and "Class Act." She was part of the production team that produced the documentary "Fuel for Thought" on Houston PBS. She has also written articles for Katy Magazine Online.