Indexed on: 13 Oct '16Published on: 11 Oct '16Published in: Extreme Mechanics Letters
When soft gels move across a hard surface, stick–slip frictional sliding is mediated by propagation of adhesion and detachment fronts. Here we experimentally investigate the sliding dynamics of an extended frictional interface between soft Silicone gel and hard PMMA and identify three distinct sliding regimes. We directly visualize the interface and show that a minute manipulation of the initial loading angle results in a sharp bifurcation between the different sliding states. The phase diagram as well as universal scaling relations governing the dynamics is presented.