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Forces needed to move a sliding door, from the physicsly challenged

  1. Jul 10, 2011 #1
    Hi All, from a totally non physics speaking person, I have been trying my hardest to understand what is involved in working out how many newtons of force are required to move a simple sliding door.

    This is not a homework question although it is becoming related to my daily work, so it is for my own sanity that I am trying to work this out, Im fed up of waiting weeks and relying on people who are "qualified" but cant give me an answer to what I believe is a simple physics problem that most of you can answer in your sleep!

    Any help regarding this would be most helpful. from my research so far I am assuming I will need the co-efficient of friction for the bearings and the mass of the door to be moved. Anything else i might need?, please keep all answers as simple as possible....assume i know nothing and you wont be far wrong!

    Many thanks, John
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2011 #2


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    Gold Member

    For things like this, I would take a more practical approach and just use a force-meter (real simple one made of a spring would work), and just pull on the door.

    In theory what you need to figure out is the coefficient of friction for the bearings and the normal force applied to those bearings. Using a nice and simple formula: F=mu*N (F is force, mu is coefficient of static friction, and N is the normal force), you will get the force required to get the screen door moving. Of course this force is what is required to *barely* move the screen door.
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