We present an analysis of the rigid-body model for frictional three-dimensional impacts, which was originally studied by Routh. Using Coulomb’s law for friction, a set of differential equations describing the progress and outcome of the impact process for general bodies can be obtained. The differential equations induce a flow in the tangent velocity space for which the trajectories cannot be solved for in a closed form, and a numerical integration scheme is required. At the point of sticking, the numerical problem becomes ill-conditioned and we have to analyze the flow at the singularity to determine the rest of the process. A local analysis at the point of sticking provides enough information about the global nature of the flow to let us enumerate all the possible dynamic scenarios for the sliding behavior during impact. The friction coefficient, and the mass parameters at the point of contact, determine the particular sliding behavior that would occur for a given problem. Once the initial conditions are specified, the possible outcome of the impact can then be easily determined.

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