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The resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.

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How to start a fire using IKEA products

Using friction and IKEA products to start a fire

Credit: Matthew Venn
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85712049@N00/366986755/in/photolist-yqUnR-3zt96r-84RNDN-aJNpUV-6ZVd2a-58ZCqx-bsK1HF-6ZVcpT-6RubXh-bsK1kk-6ZVc26-cLwW7b-6bHaFu-4r4Hb8-bzq87q-6wtKUf-23fyPY-7F4FcM-6wpzEX-4Z1aS9-eDeGyQ-7BAmLP-5P5NC8-4qJvWR-5dXqqF-9TZ1v-FgdtV-4mjwjd-E13pE-4oMW46-fYdvs-879aD7-b8za7-861hb5-6Djrmx-8f4LS-7JcAx1-7JcziQ-a1JFeD-4DJ2EQ-878Bau-6Z1zVU-P2qpC-Pqw5k-2EUKPA-8ypRkK
License: CC BY-NC 3.0


Friction plays an important part in daily life. Friction is the reason why we can walk on the ground as well as the reason why cars move forward and stay on the road so well. Friction is a force that occurs between two surfaces that are moving over another.

Remember how you were told that you could make a fire by rubbing two sticks together? To make fire, you will need fuel, oxygen, and heat. The sticks act as the fuel, the oxygen comes from the air, and the friction provides the necessary heat. However, friction fires are very difficult to make because it requires good technique and good equipment.

You can check out how to make a fire using IKEA products here:

(Remember, safety first! If you decide to do this activity, please have caution and be careful)

Creative Applications

  1. What type of friction is this? (static? rolling? Fluid/air resistance?)
  2. Friction is not only used when the pieces wood is rubbing together. Where else in the video can you see friction being used?

  3. Do you think this fire could still be made if he used different types of wood? Why do you think IKEA wood works so well for this fire?

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