We propose an explanation of the genesis of directional dry friction, as emergent property of the oscillations produced in a bristle-like mediating element by the interaction with microscale fluctuations on the surface. Mathematically, we extend a convergence result by Mielke, for Prandtlâ€“Tomlinson-like systems, considering also non-homothetic scalings of a wiggly potential. This allows us to apply the result to some simple mechanical models, that exemplify the interaction of a bristle with a surface having small fluctuations. We find that the resulting friction is the product of two factors: a geometric one, depending on the bristle angle and on the fluctuation profile, and a energetic one, proportional to the normal force exchanged between the bristle-like element and the surface. Finally, we apply our result to discuss the with the nap/against the nap asymmetry.

%B ESAIM: COCV %V 23 %P 1023-1046 %G eng %U https://doi.org/10.1051/cocv/2017030 %R 10.1051/cocv/2017030