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Perception of Skin Friction


*Corresponding author
1. Laboratory for Surface Technology and Tribology, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
2. TNO, P.O. Box 6235, 5600 HE Eindhoven, The Netherlands


With the growing expectations of consumer in high value products from functionality and usability to emotional features, consumer’s emotional preferences become an important aspect in the successful design of innovative and competitive products. As touch perception is stimulated when the human skin contacts or strokes over object surfaces, during active touch, friction is generated. This paper systematically reviewed the relationships between subjective tactile perception and measurable skin friction, based on the understanding of the friction mechanisms of human skin, the contribution of skin friction to tactile perception, the relationship between skin friction and other physical parameters (physical level) and the correlation between skin friction and tactile perception in both sensorial level and affective level, which offers insights on how to change the sensation experience of household and personal care products by changing skin friction.


In our daily life, as we come across a large variety of products, impressions of their qualities are created in our minds through a combination of sensation, perception and cognition (1). With the increasing of people's quality of life, nowadays, these impressions become more important, as there are growing expectations of consumer in high value products to move towards emotional, psychological and sociocultural needs rather than utilitarian ones. Therefore, the success of a product in the marketplace is highly influenced by its aesthetic appeal, the pleasure it creates, and the satisfaction it brings to the consumer. Conventional "engineering design approach" to meet product specifications is no longer sufficient enough. Emotional interaction, as a new "exciter", has to be taken into account.
Consumer's emotional preferences or sensations are usually hard to be expressed and even hard to quantify. Typically, product "feel" is evaluated by a sensory panel and graded according to a range of attributes (2). While the information that can be obtained from sensory panels is always subjective, and are prone to variance due to differences ...

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