The construction of an instrument designed to measure the sliding friction between a hemispherically tipped pin and a flat plate is described. Measurements were conducted using a low-density polyethylene and the influence of temperature, anisotropy, moulding conditions and surface treatments investigated at rubbing speeds of 10-2to 10 mm s-1. It is found that although changes in crystallinity and orientation influence the coefficient of friction to some degree the effect of temperature is the most significant, causing a reduction by a factor of 4 over the range 20-90°C. The results can be interpreted in terms of contributions to friction due to local asperity welding and surface energy, and similar concepts can be applied to the results of King and Tabor on a range of polymers. © 1972.
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