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Development of a computational model for shoe-floor-contaminant friction.

Beschorner KE
Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh, 2008 Dec; :1-133
Slip and fall accidents are a serious occupational and public health problem. While shoe-floor-contaminant friction is known to be critical to slip risk, no method of measuring shoe-floor-contaminant friction is widely accepted as being relevant to human slips. In addition, the tribological mechanisms of the shoe-floor-contaminant interface are poorly understood. This dissertation studies slips and falls from a biomechanical and tribological perspective. Heel contact control was investigated during human slipping experiments. Knee joint torques were found to be the primary contributor to heel acceleration during contact with the floor. For the tribology portion of this research, experimental testing was performed using a novel whole shoe slip testing method and a pin-on-disk tribometer. The experiments revealed that shoe-floor-contaminant friction could be described with the theoretical Stribeck curve. The lubrication regime that was determined to be most relevant to shoe-floor-contaminant friction was the mixed-lubrication regime. A computational model was developed to describe this mixed-lubrication regime, simulating the hydrodynamic and contacting pressures at the shoe-floor-contaminant interface applied to pin-on-disk experiments. The model-predicted friction values showed good agreement with experimental data. Because the custom code was limited to simple geometries, FEA was examined for its ability to simulate mixed-lubrication of an entire shoe heel against a floor surface. Limitations were discovered in current FEA software packages that prevented their use in shoe-floor-contaminant friction modeling. Therefore, a hybrid model that used FEA software to simulate the contact and custom modeling to simulate the lubrication effect was proposed. The research presented in this dissertation may be the first step towards developing a comprehensive shoe-floor-contaminant friction model, which will be useful for evaluating slip potential of shoes and flooring, designing safer shoes and floor surfaces, and understanding the biomechanics of slipping.
Accidents; Injuries; Musculoskeletal-system; Hazards; Public-health; Occupational-health; Biomechanics; Physiological-factors; Physiological-function; Physiological-response; Floors
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Mining: Oil and Gas Extraction; Services: Public Safety
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Development of a Computational Model for Shoe-floor-contaminant Friction
Performing Organization
University of Pittsburgh
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division