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Functional handgrip test to determine the coefficient of static friction at the hand/handle interface.

Ergonomics in Design

Author: O'Meara, D. M., Smith, R. M.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2002


The aim was to devise a method of measuring friction at the hand/handle interface during a functional handgrip task. No descriptions of methods of this kind was found in the literature. An indirect technique of measuring normal grip force was employed to determine friction at the hand/handle interface while performing a functional handgrip action with a grabrail. The coefficient of static friction was calculated between palmar skin (dry, wet, and soapy hands) and five grabrail materials (stainless steel, powder-coated steel, chrome, textured aluminium and knurled steel). Thirty subjects participated (15 female, 15 male), who were aged from 17 to 45 years with a mean age of 30 years. Knurled steel produced a significantly larger mean coefficient of static friction than chrome, powder-coated steel and stainless steel, and textured aluminium had a significantly larger coefficient of static friction than stainless steel. Soapy hands produced the lowest mean coefficients (0.46+/-0.04), significantly less then dry (1.72+/-0.16, p<0.001) and wet hands (1.42+/-0.16, p<0.001). This study has demonstrated the influence of grabrail material and palmar skin treatments on static friction at the hand/handle interface. The use of a functional test that incorporates an indirect determination of normal handgrip force has provided a quantitative method of observing stability at the hand/handle interface.

Further Details

Pages: 717-731
Volume: 45
Issue: 10
Accession Number: 16.5.03
Keywords: product, rail
Reads: 185