Coefficient of Friction Testing with Sock, Insole and Orthotic Device Materials

Over the past 15 years Tamarack Habilitation Technologies has done extensive lab research to learn about the static coefficient of friction (CoF) of materials commonly used in the Orthotic and Prosthetic industry. We have always been curious about bare skin as a comparison material.

The CoF is the force resisting the relative lateral (tangential) motion of two material elements in contact, and, we have also been curious about how our existing lab acquired data would correlate with the same materials in a test environment that is closer to real life (living subject testing).

While we are not yet prepared to publish this data, we want to share that we are working on this and have built a new test fixture and developed a method to allow us to incorporate the feet of living subjects in our testing.

In early rounds of testing, we found significant correlation among materials with low static CoF. This is good news for us since we are most interested in low CoF materials. We also found that the dynamic nature of a living subject’s foot seems to influence the results in material pairings that have high static CoF in interesting ways as compared to our lab acquired data. We intend to continue our research in this area for a better understanding of these interesting results – and to continue learning how they relate to the issue of skin integrity.

Tamarack Lab CoF Test                        

Tamarack Living Subject CoF Test

Both test methods utilize the inclined plane method for testing static coefficient of friction.

For more information about Tamarack’s product & materials testing research, visit the Tamarack Product Reassurance page on our website.

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