11R8. Dynamics with Friction: Modeling, Analysis and Experiment, Part II. Stability, Vibration, and Control of Systems, Series B, Vol 7. - Edited by A Guran (Inst for Structronics, Canada), F Pfeiffer (Inst of Mech, Tech Univ, Munich, Germany), K Popp (Inst of Mech, Univ of Hannover, Germany). World Sci Publ, Singapore. 2001. 313 pp. ISBN 981-02-2954-2. $77.00.

Reviewed by MA Cutchins (Dept of Aerospace Eng, Auburn Univ, 211 Aerospace Eng Bldg, Auburn AL 36849-5338).

This book is very timely because of the revival in recent years of contact mechanics, ie, mechanical systems with friction associated with new computer resources and applications such as robotics, human artificial joints, virtual reality, animation, and crashworthiness.

The book is important because most of nature, machines, and structures involve dynamical friction. The Preface alone is worth the price of the book. Along with an excellent summary of the importance of friction in nearly everything (“forces are nearly always applied by means of frictional contacts”), a pragmatic case is made for the role of friction in an almost unlimited number of applications. The Preface also contains a statement by Leonardo da Vinci that should be motivating to all those associated with mechanics in any way, “Mechanics is the noblest and above all others the most useful, seeing that by means of it, all animated bodies which have movement perform all their actions.”

The book emphasizes a number of examples of contact mechanics. While many engineering applications require that we minimize friction, “everyday life is… impossible without friction.” The nine chapters (papers given by a dozen different authors) add to the engineering and mathematical ability to model friction in more realistic ways.

Most of these applications fall under the categories: dry sliding contacts, discs, kinematic chains, periodic structures, beams, linear viscoelastic media, and rectangular plates. There are also chapters on friction modeling and dynamic computation and on the use of passive and semi-active dry friction to accomplish damping.

The approaches vary widely in complexity, usually culminating in experimental cases with graphic results. The book has excellent figures including some in color. Every one of the figures of the various detailed models analyzed (for example, a flexible link with a slider joint) is especially well done. There are hundreds of references, but they are included at the end of each chapter instead of being assimilated into one place. There is a very brief index and an author index.

Excellent technical features are the wide range of simple to complex models, stability versus instability studies, well-presented results, and mathematical approaches that traverse from the simple to the complex.

This reviewer recommends Dynamics with Friction: Modeling, Analysis and Experiment, Part II as primarily a reference book intended for those in the contact mechanics field, professors, material scientists, mathematicians, physicists, and libraries. The authors succeed in their goals of augmenting Part I with a good collection of papers for modeling, analyzing, and experimenting on the effects of friction on a number of dynamical systems.