Regimes of frictional sliding of a spring-block system

Thibaut Putelat, Jonathan H P Dawes, John R Willis

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25 Citations (SciVal)


In the context of rate-and-state friction, we revisit the crossover between the creep and inertial regimes in the dynamics of a spring-block system as observed and described in the dry friction experiment of Heslot et al. (1994) and Baumberger et al. (1994). We show that the transition between the quasi-static motion of a spring-block and its dynamic motion occurs at a lower sliding velocity than that which minimises the steady-state friction coefficient. We perform a weakly nonlinear stability analysis combined with numerical studies with the continuation package Auto. In particular, attention is focused on the change of nature the Hopf bifurcation from supercritical to subcritical, as observed by Heslot et al. Comparing the results obtained for different friction laws, we conclude that the weakly nonlinear analysis provides a possible criterion for distinguishing which friction laws may be physically relevant. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-53
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Creep
  • Hopf bifurcation
  • Friction
  • Convergence of numerical methods


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