Friction Class 8 Notes - Chapter 12

According to the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been renumbered as Chapter 9.

The Class 8 Science chapter 12 Friction discusses friction and various factor affecting it. The force which opposes the relative motion between two surfaces in contact is known as friction. It acts on both surfaces. Listed below are factors that affect friction.

What Friction?

Friction force

  • The external force that opposes relative motion between 2 surfaces in contact. 
  • Friction acts on the surface of contact between both bodies.

Friction Force

To know more about Friction, visit here.

Relative motion

When one object moves relative to another, it is called relative motion.

Relative Motion

For more information on Friction, watch the below videos

Why Friction?

Cause of friction

  • Friction occurs due to surface irregularities of the two objects in contact.
  • Adhesive forces between surfaces in contact.
  • Plowing effect.

Cause of Friction


Surface irregularities

  • All surfaces, when zoomed into a microscopic level, contain hills and valleys that interlock when they move or rub on top of each other.
  • This unevenness of the surface is called surface irregularities or roughness.
  • Rough surfaces have larger irregularities, while smoother surfaces have lesser irregularities.

Adhesive forces

  • When two surfaces are in contact, they start to form bonds and begin to stick to each other. This phenomenon is called Adhesion.
  • When we try to move objects that are on top of one another, we are basically breaking the bonds or overcoming the adhesive forces.

Adhesive force

Plowing effect

  • When surfaces are soft or can change their shape easily, they get deformed when they come in contact with another object. Ex: carpets, when a heavy object is placed on them, it looks like a valley that is caused by the deformation of the shape.
  • This effect of the surfaces sinking into each other is known as the Plowing effect.

Plowing effect

Factors Affecting Friction

Factors affecting friction

Depends on the nature of the surfaces in contact. (Friction exists between two surfaces), For example, glass and rubber

Nature of surface in contact

  • Friction depends on how hard the two surfaces are pressed together; as more surfaces are in contact and more bonds are formed→ more bonds to break → means more friction.
  • Only the normal reaction force (exactly perpendicular ) to the two surfaces increases friction.

Calculating frictional force using a spring balance

  • Using a spring balance, we can find the frictional forces opposed by different materials.
  • Sandpaper gives a higher reading as compared to stainless steel.

Spring balance

Polishing surfaces in contact to change friction

  • Polishing surface reduces irregularities and therefore makes the surface smooth.
  • Reduces friction.

For more information on Frictional Force, watch the below video

Normal reaction force

  • Force applied that is exactly perpendicular to the surfaces in contact is called normal reaction force.
  • It increases the frictional force.

Normal force

Static Friction

Friction due to a body at rest with the surface in contact is called Static friction.
Static friction

Kinetic Friction

  • The friction that comes into play when objects are in motion is called as kinetic friction.
  • Kinetic friction:

* Sliding
* Rolling friction
Kinetic friction

To know more about Types of Friction, visit here.

Friction a Frenemy?

How does friction produce heat?

As friction involves breaking bonds, they make the particles vibrate → increase kinetic energy and therefore increase heat.

Applications of friction

Writing, walking, running, tyres on a car, a nail stays in the wall due to friction, usage of a matchstick.
Applications of friction

Reinvent the Wheel

Rolling and using treads to change friction

  • Using ball bearings reduces friction as rolling friction is< other types of friction.
  • Treads on tyres help expunge water and give better grip by increasing friction.

Rolling friction

  • Rolling provides less friction as compared to sliding.
  • Rolling friction < Sliding friction.
  • Machines use ball bearings to reduce the friction of moving parts.

Rolling friction

Skydiving Cat

Drag force

  • The frictional force exerted by fluids is called drag.
  • The drag force on an object depends on speed as well as the shape of the body and the nature of the fluid.

Drag force

Also Access 
NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Science Chapter 12
NCERT Exemplar for Class 8 Science Chapter 12

Learn more about the different types of friction and other related topics, including class 8 Science notes, at BYJU’S.

Also, Read

Friction – A necessary evil Types of Friction

Frequently Asked Questions on CBSE Class 8 Science Notes Chapter 12 Friction


What is friction?

Friction is referred to as a force acting between two moving or sliding surfaces.


What are the benefits of friction?

The benefits of friction are that objects can be piled up without sliding, enabling us to walk with a grip, and helping in the transfer of energy from one form to another.


What are the examples of adhesive forces?

Examples of adhesive forces are painting, icing on cakes, make-up, butter/jam on bread


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.



Tuition Center
Tuition Centre
free trial
Free Trial Class
Scholarship Test
Scholarship Test
Question and Answer
Question & Answer