Friction Reduction Through Ultrasonic Vibration Part 2: Experimental Evaluation of Intermittent Contact and Squeeze Film Levitation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Thomas Sednaoui
  • Eric Vezzoli
  • Brygida Maria Dzidek
  • Betty Lemaire-semail
  • Cedrick Chappaz

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Lille 1 University


In part 1 of the current study of haptic displays, a finite element (FE) model of a finger exploring a plate vibrating out-of-plane at ultrasonic frequencies was developed as well as a spring-frictional slider model. It was concluded that the reduction in friction induced by the vibrations could be ascribed to ratchet mechanism as a result of intermittent contact. The relative reduction in friction calculated using the FE model could be superimposed onto an exponential function of a dimensionless group defined from relevant parameters. The current paper presents measurements of the reduction in friction, involving real and artificial fingertips, as a function of the vibrational amplitude and frequency, the applied normal force and the exploration velocity. The results are reasonably
similar to the calculated FE values and also could be superimposed using the exponential function provided that the intermittent contact was sufficiently well developed, which for the frequencies examined correspond to a minimum vibrational amplitude of 1 μm P-P. It was observed that the reduction in friction depends on the exploration velocity and is independent of the applied normal force and ambient air pressure, which is not consistent with the squeeze film mechanism. However, the modelling did not incorporate the influence of air and the effect of ambient pressure was measured under a limited range of conditions, Thus squeeze film levitation may be synergistic with the mechanical interaction.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017


  • friction , acoustics , vibration measurement , force , vibrations , probes , frequency measurement