Artificial Finger Tests Frictional Properties Of Textile Fabrics

A recent study at the School of Textile Industries, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in
collaboration with the Division of Restorative Dentistry, Leeds Dental Institute has led to the
development of an artificial human finger that can be used for measuring the frictional properties
of textile fabrics.According to the study, the shape and profile of friction sensors have a
profound influence on the frictional properties of textile materials. The results of this study
have shown that existing methods of characterizing the frictional properties of textiles are not
valid and there was a need to develop a suitable method that would emulate the feel of fabrics by
human fingers.The artificial human finger sensor was developed using a polysiloxane compound that
simulates the shape and profile of a human index finger. An Instron tensile tester was modified to
obtain a reciprocating motion to the artificial finger sensor, and the frictional properties of
fabrics were measured at several loads.Polysiloxane compound was used because its physical
characteristics are similar to those of human stranum corneum.The study said the traction and the
compressibility of a human finger pad have shown that the artificial finger can be used as a
substitute for studying the handle and the frictional characteristics of textiles, however further
research is planned.

June 1999