Friction – Friend or Foe


To hypothesise and test what types of surface cause the most



I presume that the roughest surface (eg. cement ) t will produce the most friction.


-1x Newton Spring Balance -1x Block of Wood
-Different Surfaces [ e.g. ice, grass, dirt, etc. ]



I will change the surfaces.



I will record what surface causes the most friction.



I will keep the spring balance, block of wood and the

Distance the block of wood will travel to ensure a fair



-First of all you will need all the Equipment listed

-Then take the block of wood and attach it to the spring balance

-Then you must drag the spring balance with the block of wood behind it

-Record the reading on the spring balance for each surface

-Repeat the dragging and recording process 3 times for each surface

-Then work out the average friction by adding all results for each surface and

dividing the answer by 3

-The surface with the highest average overall has produced the most friction



Ice Cement Wood Grass Dirt

Trial 1 – 0.1 0.5 0.35 1.2 1.0

Trial 2 - 0.12 0.6 0.5 1.0 0.8

Trial 3 - 0.12 0.6 0.4 1.0 0.9

Average- 0.12 0.6 0.4 1.0 0.9


1.0 Newtons-

0.9 Newtons-

0.8 Newtons-

0.7 Newtons-

0.6 Newtons-

0.5 Newtons-

0.4 Newtons-

0.3 Newtons-

0.2 Newtons-

0.1 Newtons-

0.0 Newtons-

Ice Cement Wood Grass Dirt

-What I hypothesized was that the cement would produce the most

friction. I was quite wrong, the grass actually produced the most

friction and not the cement.

-What I observed during my investigation did make sense according

my results. My results indicated that the most ‘uneven’ surface

produced the most friction and not the roughest as I guessed.

-Some surfaces [ the ice for example ] did not produce as much

friction [ as say the cement ] because it is a lot smoother. The

reason the grass produced the most friction was because the

surface was so uneven therefore it wasn’t easily pulled along the


-Some difficulties I experienced during my investigation were

inaccurate spring balances. They sometimes did not keep a

constant measure.

-If the school had newer spring balances then the readings would be

much more accurate then what they were. Also if the block of wood

had been carried a longer distance it would make for a more

accurate reading.


What I found was that the grass produced the most friction out of all of the surfaces that were tested. The reason grass produced more friction then any other was because of the surface being so uneven and bumpy which caused the person pulling the spring balance to apply more force. The more resistant the block of wood is the higher the Newton reading will be. This resulting in more friction.