Influence of Thin Waterfilm on Skid Resistance

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Most of past research on the skid resistance/road wetness relationship deal with thick water depths (> 1mm). Questions remain as to the variation of skid resistance with thin water films and the transition between the dry state and the so-called “damp” or “humid” state at which the skid resistance drop can be as high as 30-40%. This paper deals with a theoretical and experimental assessment of the friction/water depth relationship. The main objective is to estimate local water depths trapped between the tire and the road asperities and to define a so-called “critical” water depth which can be used for driver assistance systems. Tests are performed in laboratory and on test tracks. It was found that the friction-water depth curves have an inverse-S shape and present an initial constant-friction part before decreasing to a minimum value. A “critical” water depth, defined as the water depth above which the friction coefficient collapses significantly, is determined from observed friction-water depth curves. Influence of test speed and road surface texture on critical water depth is discussed.



Skid resistance, Water depth