5 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Friction

In this article, we shall be discussing the disadvantages of friction and other related aspects of friction. Friction is an essential force that acts in between the surface of two objects. We feel the importance of friction daily either positively or negatively.

Though this essential force is not visible, its impact is enormous. You may not be aware that there are forces that keep you going when you are walking which prevent you from slipping and also if you are used to taking a walk, then you would observe that the back of your shoes keeps reducing on daily basis, frictional force keeps you going and at the same time, damages your shoes. Because of the contradicting functions that friction performs, people nicknamed it a necessary evil. Which means it is inevitable.

On the norm, without friction life on earth may have been very difficult but the same friction has caused more harm than good.  There are numerous Disadvantages Of Friction, and there are also advantages to friction too but since it is a necessary evil, we can’t avoid it. So looking for ways to reduce it becomes imperative. 

However, since friction has many disadvantages, the subsequent sections have been designed to bring to the limelight what you need to know about friction, its disadvantages, and how to reduce it to the barest minimum when the need be. Stay tuned!

What is Friction


In the simplest term, friction can be defined as a force that acts at the surface of the separation of two objects in contact and tends to repel the motion of one over the other. But it is pertinent to note that friction doesn’t occur in isolation, hence there must be a relative motion or a particular force that tends to produce the motion. 

From the definition above, we can see that friction comes in when two objects have contact and it acts as an opposing force. In most cases, frictional forces act on the surface of the object in contact.

Types Of Friction


In this section, we are going to look at the various types of friction which depicts the kind of surface that friction can act upon. Generally, there are two types of friction and they are enumerated below:

  1. kinetic friction or dynamic friction
  2. Static or limiting friction


  • Kinetic Or Dynamic Friction

This is the type of friction that exists between two objects in motion that is moving relative to each other with constant speed. What this means is that for kinetic friction to occur, the objects involved must be in motion. An example of dynamic friction can be observed when you rub your two hands together.

  • Static Or Limiting Friction

This is the type of friction that exists between the surface when one object is about to move relative to the other. Just as the name implies, in static motion, one object out of the two objects must remain constant. This kind of friction can be seen between a moving vehicle tire on the road.

Laws Of Friction


As it is with other physical quantities where they have particular rules or laws that govern them, the same applies to friction as it has laws upon which it operates.  

The laws of friction are listed below

  • The frictional force that exists between two surfaces opposes their relative motion
  • When the normal reaction is constant, the frictional force is independent of the area of the given surface
  • For static friction, the limiting frictional force is proportional to the normal reaction.

From the laws above, we can see that before friction takes place two parameters are crucial which are objects and surface because without the duo friction can’t take place since it doesn’t exist in isolation.

What Does Friction Depend On?


From the foregoing up till this section, we have seen friction needs objects and surfaces before it can take place. But another point here is that we have different objects and the way that the frictional forces act on them varies.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Friction

For clarity purposes, friction generally depends on the nature of the surface in contact like wet, rough, polished, smooth, dry, etc.

Friction varies directly with the normal force that is pressing the surface together. 

It can be represented in the equation below:

F = NR.

Advantages Of Friction


Before we can move to the next section where we shall be discussing the disadvantages of friction, let’s first of all look at the importance, uses, and advantages of friction.

The importance of friction as I mentioned earlier in the introduction cannot be overemphasized, in fact, without friction life would have been miserable. Some of the advantages of friction are listed below:

  1. Friction helps in gripping objects
  2. It helps us to walk without slipping
  3. Friction helps the car brakes to work and the locomotive pulls the train
  4. It helps to fix a screw or nail on an object
  5. The frictional force is utilized in the sharpening of metals like a cutlass
  6. Friction helps during the grinding of materials.

Disadvantages Or Demerit Of Friction


Now that you have known the importance of friction, as a saying goes that anything that has advantages will surely have disadvantages. In this section, we are going to enumerate some of the disadvantages of friction which is our topic of consideration. Let’s look at it right away.

  1. Friction causes wear and tears of machine parts as they rub each other
  2. Friction reduces motion
  3. It also causes heating of engines. The engine heats up because the energy which will be used to overcome friction is normally converted into heat
  4. Friction resists motion, hence extra energy is required to overcome it.
  5. It reduces the life expectancy of the moving machine parts.

Methods Of Reducing Friction


Since friction is a necessary evil, we must look for a way to reduce its negative effect and that is what we shall be doing in this section. Fortunately, since we still need friction to keep life going, it would only make sense if we reduce its negative effect, and the ways through which we can do that are itemized below

  • We can reduce friction through the use of lubricants like grease, graphite, oil, etc in the machine parts
  • Friction can also be reduced by streamlining of body shapes of moving objects
  • Finally, friction can be reduced by the use of roller bearings or ball 


What Are the 5 Disadvantages Of Friction?


There are numerous disadvantages of friction but some of it has been listed below, they include

  • Friction produces unnecessary heat
  • Friction causes wear and tear on machine parts
  • It hurts our environment
  • It reduces the efficiency and life expectancy of a machine
  • It brings about noise pollution.

What Are Friction Advantages and Disadvantages Of Friction?


The advantage of friction is that it helps to keep life going, not only that, it helps brakes in the cars to work properly, and writing on paper is made possible because of friction. On the other hand, the major disadvantages of friction are that it causes tears and wear of machine parts and it also reduces the efficiency and life expectancy of the machine.

Why Is Friction A Disadvantage?


Friction is a disadvantage because it generates heat on the surface of two objects in contact due to its opposing force. This in turn leads to reduced efficiency and life expectancy of the machine, also tear and wear of the machine are inevitable because of friction.

In Which Case Is Friction A Disadvantage?


Friction is a disadvantage because it causes the moving parts of vehicles to wear out easily, not only that, it drastically reduces the life expectancy of the machine and its efficiency. Hence in this instance friction is a disadvantage.

How Is Friction A Problem?


Friction is a problem because it reduces the efficiency of moving objects and stops stationary objects from moving. It is also a problem because it leads to the tear and wear of objects, and that is why it is a problem.



Friction has many disadvantages but at the same time, its importance cannot be overemphasized, hence friction becomes a necessary evil. The only way out is to adapt and use some measures outlined in this article to reduce its negative effect to keep life going. 

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