Friction of the Human Finger Pad: Influence of Moisture, Occlusion and Velocity

SM Pasumarty, SA Johnson, SA Watson, Michael Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Citations (Scopus)


The current paper describes an experimental study of the friction of the human finger pad. The data highlight the role of sweat secretion and contact occlusion in producing wide-ranging values for the coefficient of friction that are particularly sensitive to the tribological configuration, sliding velocity, surface roughness and porosity of the counterbody. In particular, the large coefficients of friction typically observed on dry smooth surfaces are associated with a relatively damp interface, and can be considerably reduced by either decreasing or increasing the interfacial moisture content or by surface roughening. It is concluded that the very large range in the values of the coefficient of friction reported in the literature mainly result from differences in occlusion time associated with different tribological configurations, as well as from variations in surface roughness and finger pad sweat rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-137
Number of pages21
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Skin
  • Friction mechanisms
  • Biotribology
  • Water


Dive into the research topics of 'Friction of the Human Finger Pad: Influence of Moisture, Occlusion and Velocity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this