A new experimental apparatus is used to measure the static friction between tin surfaces under various loads. After the data is collected it is then compared to an existing theoretical model. The experiment uses the classical physics technique of increasing the incline of a plane and block until the block slides. The angle at the initiation of sliding is used to find the static friction coefficient. The experiment utilizes an automated apparatus to minimize human error. The finite element based statistical rough surface contact model for static friction under full stick by Li, Etsion, and Talke (2010, “Contact Area and Static Friction of Rough Surfaces with High Plasticity Index,” ASME Journal of Tribology, 132(3), p. 031401) is used to make predictions of the friction coefficient using surface profile data from the experiment. Comparison of the computational and experimental methods shows similar qualitative trends, and even some quantitative agreement. After adjusting the results for the possible effect of the native tin oxide film, the theoretical and experimental results can be brought into reasonable qualitative and quantitative agreement.

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