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Reproducibility of finger friction, surface roughness and perception of printing papers
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry. (Ytkemi)
Institute for Surface Chemistry (YTK), Stockholm, Sweden.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Tribologi.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2489-0688
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Elements.
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(English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Keyword [en]
finger friction, paper friction, roughness, perception
National Category
Other Basic Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-31703OAI: diva2:406003
QS 2011Available from: 2011-03-24 Created: 2011-03-24 Last updated: 2011-12-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tactile Perception - Role of Physical Properties
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tactile Perception - Role of Physical Properties
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to interconnect human tactile perception with various physical properties of materials. Tactile perception necessitates contact and relative motion between the skin and the surfaces of interest. This implies that properties such as friction and surface roughness ought to be important physical properties for tactile sensing. In this work, a method to measure friction between human fingers and surfaces is presented. This method is believed to best represent friction in tactile perception.

This study is focused on the tactile perception of printing papers. However, the methodology of finger friction measurements, as well as the methodology to link physical properties with human perception data, can be applied to almost whichever material or surfaces.


This thesis is based on three articles.


In Article I, one participant performed finger friction measurements, using a piezoelectric force sensor, on 21 printing papers of different paper grades and grammage (weight of the papers). Friction coefficients were calculated as the ratio of the frictional force and the normal force, shown to have a linear relationship. The values were recorded while stroking the index finger over the surface. The results show that measurements with the device can be used to discriminate a set of similar surfaces in terms of finger friction. When comparing the friction coefficients, the papers group according to paper surface treatment and an emerging trend is that the rougher (uncoated) papers have a lower friction coefficient than the smoother (coated) papers. In the latter case, this is interpreted in terms of a larger contact between the finger and paper surface.


In addition, a decrease in friction coefficient is noted for all papers on repeated stroking, where the coated papers display a larger decrease. XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) reveals that skin lipids are transferred from the finger to the paper surface, acting as a lubricant and hence decrease friction. Nevertheless, there is evidence that mechanical changes of the surface cannot be completely ruled out.


The reproducibility of the finger friction measurements is elaborated in Article II, by using many participants on a selection of eight printing papers out of the 21. The trends in friction are the same; once again, the coated papers display the highest friction. There are notably large variations in the exact value of the friction coefficient, which are tentatively attributed to different skin hydration and stroking modes.


These same participants also took part in a tactile study of perceived paper coarseness (“strävhet” in Swedish). The results reveal that the participants can distinguish a set of printing papers in terms of perceived coarseness. Not unexpectedly, surface roughness appears to be an important property related to perceived coarseness, where group data display that perceived coarseness increases with increasing surface roughness. Interestingly, friction also appears to be a discriminatory property for some subjects. A few participants showed opposite trends, which is evidence for that what is considered coarse is subjective and that different participants “weigh” the importance of the properties differently. This is a good example of a challenge when measuring one-dimensional perceptions in psychophysics.


In Article III, a multidimensional approach was used to explore the tactile perception of printing papers. To do this, the participants scaled similarity among all possible pairs of the papers, and this similarity data are best presented by a three-dimensional space solution. This means that there are three underlying dimensions or properties that the participants use to discriminate the surface feel. Also, there is a distinct perceptual difference between the rougher (uncoated) and smoother (coated) papers. The surface roughness appears to be the dominant physical property when discriminating between a real rough paper and a smooth paper, whereas friction, thermal conductivity and grammage are more important when discriminating among the smooth coated papers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. xiii, 56 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2010:2
Finger Friction, Skin Friction, Paper Friction, Friction Coefficient, Piezoelectric Force Sensor, Skin Tribology, Biotribology, Soft Tribology, Surface Roughness, Profilometry, Coated Paper, Uncoated Paper, Printing Paper, Magazine Paper, Tactile Perception, Psychophysics, Multidimensional Scaling, Magnitude Estimation, Paper Coarseness, Thermal Conductivity, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy.
National Category
Other Basic Medicine
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11891 (URN)978-91-7415-533-4 (ISBN)
2010-02-12, Sal E3, Osquarsbacke 14, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2010-01-26 Created: 2010-01-19 Last updated: 2011-03-24Bibliographically approved

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