The finishing touches: the role of friction and roughness in haptic perception of surface coatings
Experimental Brain Research
Humans are extraordinarily skilled in the tactile evaluation of, and differentiation between, surfaces. The chemical and mechanical properties of these surfaces are translated into tactile signals during haptic exploration by mechanoreceptors in our skin, which are specialized to respond to different types of temporal and mechanical stimulation. Describing the effects of measurable physical characteristics on the human response to tactile exploration of surfaces is of great interest to
... nterest to manufacturers of household materials so that the haptic experience can be considered during design, product development and quality control. In this study, methods from psychophysics and materials science are combined to advance current understanding of which physical properties affect tactile perception of a range of furniture surfaces, i.e., foils and coatings, thus creating a tactile map of the furniture product landscape. Participants' responses in a similarity scaling task were analyzed using INDSCAL from which three haptic dimensions were identified. Results show that specific roughness parameters, tactile friction and vibrational information, as characterized by a stylus profilometer, a Forceboard, and a biomimetic synthetic finger, are important for tactile differentiation and preferences of these surface treatments. The obtained dimensions are described as distinct combinations of the surface properties characterized, rather than as 'roughness' or 'friction' independently. Preferences by touch were related to the roughness, friction and thermal properties of the surfaces. The results both complement and advance current understanding of how roughness and friction relate to tactile perception of surfaces.