A simple algorithm has been developed for predicting traction in web handling applications. Minimal traction exists when the minimum air film height between the roller and web is greater than three times the rms roughness of the two surfaces in contact. Classical foil bearing theory modified for permeable surfaces is used to determine the air film height. A piecewise linear solution using squeeze film theory is also used to account for side leakage. The minimum air film height is a function of web tension, web and roller velocity, air viscosity, web width, web permeability and roller radius. The algorithm is applicable for permeable and nonpermeable webs. Values obtained from the algorithm can be used to predict if sufficient traction is available between the web and roller for a given set of physical and operating parameters. Traction values can also be used as input for winding, wrinkling, and spreading models.

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