Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Roughness


SignificanceThe goal of this study was to use the Surface Forces Apparatus to examine the effects of slip-stick friction on cartilage surface morphology under different loading and sliding conditions. Different load and speed regimes were represented using friction maps that separated regimes of smooth and stick-slip sliding. The finding of this work is that damage generally occurs within the stick-slip regimes and is not directly related to the friction coefficient. Prolonged exposure of cartilage surfaces to stick-slip sliding resulted in a significant increase of surface roughness, indicative of severe morphological changes (damage) of the cartilage surfaces.

Concepts: Force, Classical mechanics, Friction, Road, Tribology, Roughness, Normal force, Stick-slip phenomenon


Given the long-term problem of polyethylene wear, medical interest in the new improved cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), with or without the adding of vitamin E, has risen. The main aim of this study is to gain further insights into the mutual effects of radiation cross-linking and addition of vitamin E on the wear performance of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). We tested four different batches of polyethylene (namely, a standard one, a vitamin E-stabilized, and two cross-linked) in a hip joint simulator for five million cycles where bovine calf serum was used as lubricant. The acetabular cups were then analyzed using a confocal profilometer to characterize the surface topography. Moreover; the cups were analyzed by using Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy and Differential Scanning Calorimetry in order to assess the chemical characteristics of the pristine materials. Comparing the different cups' configuration, mass loss was found to be higher for standard polyethylene than for the other combinations. Mass loss negatively correlated to the cross-link density of the polyethylenes. None of the tested formulations showed evidence of oxidative degradation. We found no correlation between roughness parameters and wear. Furthermore, we found significantly differences in the wear behavior of all the acetabular cups. XLPEs exhibited lower weight loss, which has potential for reduced wear and decreased osteolysis. However, surface topography revealed smoother surfaces of the standard and vitamin E stabilized polyethylene than on the cross-linked samples. This observation suggests incipient crack generations on the rough and scratched surfaces of the cross-linked polyethylene liners.

Concepts: Polyethylene, Cross-link, Roughness, Cross-linked polyethylene, Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene


Sticking is a serious problem during the manufacturing process of tablets. In order to prevent this, we used alloying techniques to prepare metal hardening (MH) and electron beam processing infinite product (EIP) punches with rougher asperity of surfaces than a hard chrome plated (HCr) punch. This study evaluated the anti-sticking properties of the MH and EIP punches compared to the HCr punch, using quantitative scraper force measurements and visual observation, for the manufacture of ibuprofen (Ibu) tablets. The anti-sticking property mechanism of the MH and EIP punches was also confirmed. The amount of Ibu adhering to the punch surface was 66% lower for the MH and EIP punches than for the HCr punch, suggesting a superior anti-sticking property of the MH and EIP punches. The scraper force of the HCr punch was 2.60-4.28N, while that for the MH and EIP punches was 0.54-1.64N and 0.42-1.33N, respectively. The result of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy suggested that the anti-sticking property of the EIP punch was attributed by the rough asperity as well as existence of low friction substance carbon fluoride on the punch surface. In conclusion, this study provides new evidence for the mechanisms behind the superior anti-sticking property of the MH and EIP punches.

Concepts: Electron, Spectroscopy, X-ray, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Friction, Roughness, Electroplating, Chrome plating


This paper reports on property-process correlations in simulated clinical abrasive adjusting of a wide range of dental restorative ceramics using a dental handpiece and diamond burs. The seven materials studied included four mica-containing glass ceramics, a feldspathic porcelain, a glass-infiltrated alumina, and a yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia. The abrasive adjusting process was conducted under simulated clinical conditions using diamond burs and a clinical dental handpiece. An attempt was made to establish correlations between process characteristics in terms of removal rate, chipping damage, and surface finish and material mechanical properties of hardness, fracture toughness and Young’s modulus. The results show that the removal rate is mainly a function of hardness, which decreases nonlinearly with hardness. No correlations were noted between the removal rates and the complex relations of hardness, Young’s modulus and fracture toughness. Surface roughness was primarily a linear function of diamond grit size and was relatively independent of materials. Chipping damage in terms of the average chipping width decreased with fracture toughness except for glass-infiltrated alumina. It also had higher linear correlations with critical strain energy release rates (R(2)=0.66) and brittleness (R(2)=0.62) and a lower linear correlation with indices of brittleness (R(2)=0.32). Implications of these results can provide guidance for the microstructural design of dental ceramics, optimize performance, and guide the proper selection of technical parameters in clinical abrasive adjusting conducted by dental practitioners.

Concepts: Correlation and dependence, Materials science, Young's modulus, Roughness, Fracture toughness, Hardness, Toughness, Strain energy release rate


Colloidal particles with site-specific directional interactions, so called “patchy particles”, are promising candidates for bottom-up assembly routes towards complex structures with rationally designed properties. Here we present an experimental realization of patchy colloidal particles based on material independent depletion interaction and surface roughness. Curved, smooth patches on rough colloids are shown to be exclusively attractive due to their different overlap volumes. We discuss in detail the case of colloids with one patch that serves as a model for molecular surfactants both with respect to their geometry and their interactions. These one-patch particles assemble into clusters that resemble surfactant micelles with the smooth and attractive sides of the colloids located at the interior. We term these clusters “colloidal micelles”. Direct Monte Carlo simulations starting from a homogeneous state give rise to cluster size distributions that are in good agreement with those found in experiments. Important differences with surfactant micelles originate from the colloidal character of our model system and are investigated by simulations and addressed theoretically. Our new “patchy” model system opens up the possibility for self-assembly studies into finite-sized superstructures as well as crystals with as of yet inaccessible structures.

Concepts: Colloid, Emulsion, Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo method, Surfactant, Micelle, Solution, Roughness


Droplet evaporation on solid surfaces is important in many applications including printing, micro-patterning and cooling. While seemingly simple, the configuration of evaporating droplets on solids is difficult to predict and control. This is because evaporation typically proceeds as a “stick-slip” sequence-a combination of pinning and de-pinning events dominated by static friction or “pinning”, caused by microscopic surface roughness. Here we show how smooth, pinning-free, solid surfaces of non-planar topography promote a different process called snap evaporation. During snap evaporation a droplet follows a reproducible sequence of configurations, consisting of a quasi-static phase-change controlled by mass diffusion interrupted by out-of-equilibrium snaps. Snaps are triggered by bifurcations of the equilibrium droplet shape mediated by the underlying non-planar solid. Because the evolution of droplets during snap evaporation is controlled by a smooth topography, and not by surface roughness, our ideas can inspire programmable surfaces that manage liquids in heat- and mass-transfer applications.

Concepts: Temperature, Liquid, Materials science, Friction, Road, Roughness, Liquids, Stick-slip phenomenon


Although the functional properties of shark skin have been of considerable interest to both biologists and engineers because of the complex hydrodynamic effects of surface roughness, no study to date has successfully fabricated a flexible biomimetic shark skin that allows detailed study of hydrodynamic function. We present the first study of the design, fabrication and hydrodynamic testing of a synthetic, flexible, shark skin membrane. A three-dimensional (3D) model of shark skin denticles was constructed using micro-CT imaging of the skin of the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus). Using 3D printing, thousands of rigid synthetic shark denticles were placed on flexible membranes in a controlled, linear-arrayed pattern. This flexible 3D printed shark skin model was then tested in water using a robotic flapping device that allowed us to either hold the models in a stationary position or move them dynamically at their self-propelled swimming speed. Compared with a smooth control model without denticles, the 3D printed shark skin showed increased swimming speed with reduced energy consumption under certain motion programs. For example, at a heave frequency of 1.5 Hz and an amplitude of ±1 cm, swimming speed increased by 6.6% and the energy cost-of-transport was reduced by 5.9%. In addition, a leading-edge vortex with greater vorticity than the smooth control was generated by the 3D printed shark skin, which may explain the increased swimming speeds. The ability to fabricate synthetic biomimetic shark skin opens up a wide array of possible manipulations of surface roughness parameters, and the ability to examine the hydrodynamic consequences of diverse skin denticle shapes present in different shark species.

Concepts: Roughness, Shark, Surface metrology, Lamniformes, Lamnidae, Shortfin mako shark, Isurus, Longfin mako shark


Expending effort is generally considered to be undesirable. However, both humans and vertebrates will work for a reward they could also get for free. Moreover, cues associated with high-effort rewards are preferred to low-effort associated cues. Many explanations for these counterintuitive findings have been suggested, including cognitive dissonance (self-justification) or a greater contrast in state (e.g., energy or frustration level) before and after an effort-linked reward. Here, we test whether effort expenditure also increases perceived value in ants, using both classical cue-association methods and pheromone deposition, which correlates with perceived value. In 2 separate experimental setups, we show that pheromone deposition is higher toward the reward that requires more effort: 47% more pheromone deposition was performed for rewards reached via a vertical runway (high effort) compared with ones reached via a horizontal runway (low effort), and deposition rates were 28% higher on rough (high effort) versus smooth (low effort) runways. Using traditional cue-association methods, 63% of ants trained on different surface roughness, and 70% of ants trained on different runway elevations, preferred the high-effort related cues on a Y maze. Finally, pheromone deposition to feeders requiring memorization of one path bifurcation was up to 29% higher than to an identical feeder requiring no learning. Our results suggest that effort affects value perception in ants. This effect may stem from a cognitive process, which monitors the change in a generalized hedonic state before and after reward. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Perception, Mind, Concept, Cognitive dissonance, Roughness


Total ankle replacement (TAR) is an alternative to fusion, replacing the degenerated joint with a mechanical motion-preserving alternative. Minimal pre-clinical testing has been reported to date and existing wear testing standards lack definition. Ankle gait is complex, therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the effect on wear of a range of different ankle gait kinematic inputs. Five Zenith (Corin Group) TARs were tested in a modified knee simulator for twelve million cycles (Mc). Different combinations of IR rotation and AP displacement were applied every 2Mc to understand the effects of the individual kinematics. Wear was assessed gravimetrically every Mc and surface profilometry undertaken after each condition. With the initial unidirectional input with no AP displacement the wear rate measured 1.2±0.6mm(3)/Mc. The addition of 11° rotation and 9mm of AP displacement caused a statistically significant increase in the wear rate to 25.8±3.1mm(3)/Mc. These inputs seen a significant decrease in the surface roughness at the tibial articulation. Following polishing three displacement values were tested; 0, 4 and 9mm with no significant difference in wear rate ranging 11.8-15.2mm(3)/Mc. TAR wear rates were shown to be highly dependent on the addition of internal/external rotation within the gait profile with multidirectional kinematics proving vital in the accurate wear testing of TARs. Prior to surface polishing wear rates were significantly higher but once in a steady state the AP displacement had no significant effect on the wear.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Systems theory, Classical mechanics, Acceleration, Velocity, Roughness, Centripetal force, Profilometer


We study rubber friction for tire tread compounds on asphalt road surfaces. The road surface topographies are measured using a stylus instrument and atomic force microscopy, and the surface roughness power spectra are calculated. The rubber viscoelastic modulus mastercurves are obtained from dynamic mechanical analysis measurements and the large-strain effective modulus is obtained from strain sweep data. The rubber friction is measured at different temperatures and sliding velocities, and is compared to the calculated data obtained using the Persson contact mechanics theory. We conclude that in addition to the viscoelastic deformations of the rubber surface by the road asperities, there is an important contribution to the rubber friction from shear processes in the area of contact. The analysis shows that the latter contribution may arise from rubber molecules (or patches of rubber) undergoing bonding-stretching-debonding cycles as discussed in a classic paper by Schallamach.

Concepts: Continuum mechanics, Force, Mechanical engineering, Materials science, Friction, Road, Roughness, Tarmac