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Coefficient of friction for rolling wheels

  1. Oct 11, 2012 #1
    I have fairly basic questions.

    How do wheels roll on a surface ? As in what should be the ideal Coefficient of Friction between the wheel surface and the ground, for conditions like "no-slips"

    What I understand is if there is no friction between the wheels and the ground , the wheels would keep spinning with slips ( wheel won't have forward motion , will have pure rotational motion )
    On the other hand if there is significant friction between the wheels and the ground , there will be power losses due to friction ie the frictional forces would try to retard a wheels rolling motion .

    So how do you transmit max power to wheels , without the wheels spinning and without having too much friction losses , what should be the optimum Coefficient of Friction?

    Guys Please correct me if my concepts/understanding is wrong
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2012 #2


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    Hi RKD89! :smile:
    for motion in a straight line, the lower the coefficient of friction, the lower the acceleration (or deceleration) that will be possible before slipping

    friction itself does not cause any loss of energy

    the energy loss is caused by "rolling resistance", which is basically the deformation of the wheel and the road
  4. Oct 14, 2012 #3

    Everything makes sense if you assume contact between Wheel and ground to be a point ( 2D)
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