Due to the growing interest in robotic and haptic applications, voltage-induced friction has rapidly gained in importance in recent years. However, despite extensive experimental investigations, the underlying principles are still not sufficiently understood, which complicates reliable modeling. We present a macroscopic model for solving electroadhesive frictional contacts which exploits the close analogy to classical adhesion theories, like Johnson-Kendall-Roberts (JKR) and Maugis, valid for electrically neutral bodies. For this purpose, we recalculate the adhesion force per unit area and the relative surface energy from electrostatics. Under the assumption of Coulomb friction in the contact interface, a closed form equation for the friction force is derived. As an application, we consider the frictional contact between the fingertip and touchscreen under electrovibration in more detail. The results obtained with the new model agree well with available experimental data of the recent literature. The strengths and limitations of the model are clearly discussed.
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