1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Measuring coefficient of friction of very light item

  1. Apr 17, 2012 #1
    I'm trying to measure the coefficient of friction between a wheel that weighs about 4 grams and a ping pong table. Are there accurate spring scales I can use to measure the force it takes to move the wheel?

    I'm estimate the force required to move the wheel to be in the thousands POUNDS (.00xlb)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2012 #2
    its easy and you don't need a scale. all you need to do is tilt the table until the object starts slipping, then find the angle. With that information you can determine the friction coefficient.

    And it doesn't matter how light the object is.
  4. Apr 18, 2012 #3
    Yea, I do agree with Curl.. This is really easy...
  5. Apr 18, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That will measure the static coefficient of friction, but not the dynamic coefficient.

    And in any case the "wheel" will probably roll down a sloping table instead of sliding.
  6. Apr 18, 2012 #5
    If I tip the table the wheel will slide on its side not roll down which is what I need. I just want to know if there is a spring scale that can measure a force to like 5 decimal places for a lb.
  7. Apr 20, 2012 #6
    if you want to measure dynamic coefficient its still easy, time how long it takes for the object to slide down some sloped plane.

    and I dont know of any "spring scales" that are so precise.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook