What is the minimum coefficient of static friction between tires and road

• zerogoal
In summary, to prevent the car from sliding up, there must be a force acting in opposite direction and that would be friction. Since the car is sliding up, thus the friction must be acting towards the left? Therefore centripetal force + friction = centrifugal force?
zerogoal

Homework Statement

A curve with a 135 m radius on a level road is banked at the correct angle for a speed of 20m/s.
If an automobile rounds this curve at 30m/s, what is the minimum coefficient of static friction between tires and road needed to prevent skidding?

Homework Equations

N=mg(cos\theta)
mgsin(\theta)=centripetal force=mv^2/r

Quite confused with the workings for this question, anyone can help?

Since the curve is banked for an optimum velocity of 20m/s that means that the centrifugal force is canceled by the component of the normal force which acts along the horizontal. Can you work out what angle the curve must be banked at for that to occur? Draw a free body diagram with the forces to help you.

The angle that i got is 16.8degrees
After getting the angle, do i take the static force/normal force?
Do i take the value of the centrifugal force as my static force?
Also when should i use 30m/s?

OK so you know the banking angle of the curve. Now what forces will be present when the car takes the curve at the wrong velocity? What are the forces parallel to the bank's surface? How much force will stop the car sliding off the track at that velocity?

The forces that will be present are normal force, friction, weight and centrifugal force.
Forces that are parallel to bank's surface would be centrifugal and friction.
To calculate the force that prevented the car from sliding, do i use the centrifugal force-static force?

Can you draw a free body diagram and analyse the horizontal and vertical components with the friction present?

Hey guys!

why are you talking about centrifugal force?

it's centripetal acceleration, times mass, and it equals the other horizontal forces!

Indeed. I had a 50/50 and got it wrong.

Kurdt said:
Can you draw a free body diagram and analyse the horizontal and vertical components with the friction present?

Sorry i have made mistakes in my previous reply. I hope I'm not wrong this time wrong. The horizontal forces are centripetal force, friction and centrifugal force. Whereas the vertical force would be the weight and the normal and the vertical friction.

To prevent the car from sliding up, there must be a force acting in opposite direction and that would be friction. Since the car is sliding up, thus the friction must be acting towards the left? Therefore centripetal force + friction = centrifugal force?

Is this correct?

Horizontal: Nsin(a) + Fscos(a) = mv^2/r
Vertical: mg + Fssin(a) = Ncos(a)

Last edited:
zerogoal said:
Sorry i have made mistakes in my previous reply. I hope I'm not wrong this time wrong. The horizontal forces are centripetal force, friction and centrifugal force. Whereas the vertical force would be the weight and the normal and the vertical friction.

Its entirely my fault actually, no need to apologise.

To prevent the car from sliding up, there must be a force acting in opposite direction and that would be friction. Since the car is sliding up, thus the friction must be acting towards the left? Therefore centripetal force + friction = centrifugal force?

Is this correct?

Horizontal: Nsin(a) + Fscos(a) = mv^2/r
Vertical: mg + Fssin(a) = Ncos(a)

Your horizontal and vertical equations are fine. Substitute for the friction force in terms of the coefficient of friction into the equations and solve them by eliminating a variable. You can them manipulate the equations to find the coefficient of friction.

Just a note on centrfugal and centripetal as tiny-tim pointed out. Centripetal force is a real kinematic force directed toward the centre of circular motion, whereas centrifugal force is a pseudo-force to do with rotating reference frames.

centripetal acceleration

zerogoal said:
Horizontal: Nsin(a) + Fscos(a) = mv^2/r

Hi zerogoal!

The left hand side of your equation are forces …

the right hand side is (mass times) centripetal acceleration …

instead of the usual Newton's second law equation, in which the acceleration is zero, and so the forces have to add to zero,

in this case there is an acceleration, and the forces have to add to that acceleration (times mass) …

Fnet = ma

there is no centrifugal force …

there is no centripetal force …

there is only centripetal acceleration.

1. What is the coefficient of static friction between tires and road?

The coefficient of static friction between tires and road is a measure of the maximum amount of force that can be applied to the tires before they begin to slip on a given road surface. It is represented by the symbol μs and is dependent on factors such as the type of tire and road surface, as well as the weight of the vehicle.

2. Why is the coefficient of static friction important for driving?

The coefficient of static friction is important for driving because it determines the amount of traction between the tires and the road. A higher coefficient of static friction means that the tires have a better grip on the road, allowing for better control and handling of the vehicle. Low coefficients of static friction can lead to skidding and loss of control while driving.

3. How is the coefficient of static friction measured?

The coefficient of static friction can be measured using a device called a tribometer, which applies a force to the tires and measures the force required for the tires to begin slipping on the road surface. It can also be calculated by dividing the maximum force of friction by the normal force acting on the tires.

4. Can the coefficient of static friction be changed?

Yes, the coefficient of static friction can be changed by altering the factors that affect it, such as the type of tire, the road surface, and the weight of the vehicle. For example, using tires with a higher coefficient of friction or changing to a road surface with better traction can increase the coefficient of static friction.

5. What happens if the coefficient of static friction is too low?

If the coefficient of static friction between the tires and road is too low, the tires may not have enough grip on the road surface, leading to slipping and loss of control while driving. This can be especially dangerous in wet or icy conditions where the coefficient of static friction is naturally lower. It is important for drivers to be aware of the road conditions and adjust their driving accordingly to maintain a safe coefficient of static friction.

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