The 10 Advantages of Friction

Can you imagine your life without friction? We certainly cannot! Our lives would become very difficult if there were no friction (unless you belong to an extraterrestrial species).

Physics tells us that friction is everywhere. When you rub your hands in the wintery mornings of December, heat is produced. Why do you think that happens? You guessed it right – it is all friction. That way, you keep your palms warm. Now, let’s dive deep into finding more advantages of this scientific phenomenon.

10 Advantages of Friction

I. Friction helps us walk. Because of less friction, it will be challenging to walk on a slippery surface.

When it comes to going from one place to another, friction helps. While walking, a downward force is produced that leads to the resultant force. According to Newton’s third law of motion, both these forces shall be equal and opposite. Now, there is another force called the horizontal frictional force. It is because of this that we do not slip when we walk. The horizontal frictional force acts opposite to the effective horizontal force applied by our feet, preventing us from slipping while walking.

II. The glass you keep on the table stays in one place.

Friction helps a stationary object stand in one place, and it would be sliding in its absence. This happens because of something called static friction.

III. Writing on a piece of paper is easy.

Simply put, without friction, you cannot write. Your pen or pencil makes contact with a sheet because of it. The lead or ink specks cling to the paper and become trapped in its irregularities. The ink or lead would not attach to the paper if there were no friction between the paper and the pen or pencil, making it impossible to write.

IV. Friction helps in applying the brakes.

In modern vehicles, with friction on a vehicle’s moving parts, kinetic energy is transformed into thermal energy. The velocity finally decreases to zero due to the frictional force’s resistance to motion and subsequent heat production.

V. We cannot fix nails in the wall if there is no friction.

A nail won’t even go into the wall or stay without it. It needs friction.

VI. We are protected from asteroids.

When asteroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they get burnt because of the friction in the air (also called drag). That way, life on Earth stays safe.

VII. Friction helps reduce the speed of an aircraft.

Air friction or drag helps in bringing down the speed of an aircraft. While landing or before landing, the plane brings down its flaps and the landing gear, and this helps in increasing the drag and slowing down the airplane.

VIII. We can stand in one place.

Without friction, we wouldn’t be able to stand in one place, and we would be slipping or kept drifting away.

IX. Frictional electricity gets generated by friction.

Frictional electricity is created when two suitable bodies rub against one another and electrons move from one body to another. The body that loses electrons develops a positive charge, whereas the body that gains electrons develops a negative charge.

X. Friction helps create fire.

When campers rub two planks of wood against each other, friction is produced. That friction creates heat and spark, and this spark helps light up the wood. In ancient times, it is estimated that this is how the fire was discovered.


So, to sum it up, life without friction is unimaginable. We need it, or we won’t be able to move.

Also, read The Limitations Of A Globe.

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