Slip and fall accidents are a major occupational health concern. Important factors affecting shoe-floor friction is critical to identifying and resolving unsafe surfaces and designing. Experimental studies have indicated that several factors including floor roughness, sliding speed and shoe materials affect shoe-floor friction although the precise nature of the mechanism behind this phenomenon is not well understood. In addition, recent studies have suggested that boundary lubrication is highly relevant to slipping and that adhesion and hysteresis are the main contributing factors to boundary lubrication. The purpose of this study is to perform the numerical simulations to analyze the effects of floor roughness (asperity height), sliding speed and material properties on ratio of real area of contact and normal force (relevant to adhesion friction) and hysteresis friction for a viscoelastic shoe material interacting with a hard floor surface. A 3D shoe model and 3D vinyl floor model was simulated with speed 0.01 m/s, 0.5 m/s, 0.75 m/s and 1 m/s in three different floor surfaces. The material property was also varied in the numerical simulations. The study showed that roughness affects both the hysteresis and adhesion friction whereas sliding speed and material property affects the adhesion friction only. The dependence of adhesion and hysteresis friction on roughness, sliding speed and material property is useful in understanding the shoe-floor friction phenomenon and development of slip resistant sports and work shoes.

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