We present sphere-on-ice friction experiments as a function of temperature, contact pressure, and speed. At temperatures well below the melting point, friction is strongly temperature dependent and follows an Arrhenius behavior, which we interpret as resulting from the thermally activated diffusive motion of surface ice molecules. We find that this motion is hindered when the contact pressure is increased; in this case, the friction increases exponentially, and the slipperiness of the ice disappears. Close to the melting point, the ice surface is plastically deformed due to the pressure exerted by the slider, a process depending on the slider geometry and penetration hardness of the ice. The ice penetration hardness is shown to increase approximately linearly with decreasing temperature and sublinearly with indentation speed. We show that the latter results in a nonmonotonic dependence of the ploughing force on sliding speed. Our results thus clarify the complex dependence of ice friction on temperature, contact pressure, and speed.

Physical Review X
Contact Dynamics

Liefferink, R.W, Hsia, F.-C, Weber, B, & Bonn, D. (2021). Friction on Ice: How Temperature, Pressure, and Speed Control the Slipperiness of Ice. Physical Review X, 11(1), 011025: 1–011025:13. doi:10.1103/physrevx.11.011025