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15+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2002
3rd Planet from the Sun
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As many of you guys know, friction can be an unwanted byproduct of many different processes.

However, friction does play a vital role in the movement of tires on the road.

So, Which friction is important for a tire that is in rotational motion on the road(assume no slipping), static friction or kinetic friction?


Molesting my inner-child
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15+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2000
New York City
The instantaneous velocity of a rolling object's point of contact is zero (as the tire is rolling, there is a velocity vector pointing forward, and this is cancelled out by a vector pointing backwards at the point where the tire is touching the ground), so it being instantaneously at rest, we must use static friction to evaluate such problems of rotational motion.

This came up once upon a time, when I was determining the rate of loss of tire molecules on a car tire.
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