Human subjective response to aluminum coating surfaces

  • Marco Ajovalasit
  • Raffaella SurianoEmail author
  • Sara Ridolfi
  • Riccardo Ciapponi
  • Marinella Levi
  • Stefano Turri


The research described in this study establishes whether measured physical material parameters could be used as a predictor of the human subjective response to the tactile and visual stimuli characteristics of aluminum coating surfaces. Twenty surfaces were used consisting of four uncoated aluminum substrates and four different type of coatings applied on each of the four uncoated substrates. Forty volunteers (20 female and 20 males) were asked to rate the surfaces using semantic differential scales. The results suggest that coatings obtained by matte polyurethane which contains a fine dispersion of silica microparticles have the capability to veil the effect of the manufacturing process of the aluminum substrates on both the felt slipperiness and felt roughness. The dynamic coefficient of friction was found to be a good predictor of the felt slipperiness with a negative power law exponent of 0.86 (R2 = 0.85), confirming that greater friction is associated with less felt slipperiness. The physical gloss was also found to be highly negatively correlated (R2 = 0.87) with the felt slipperiness of the tactile stimuli, suggesting that glossier surfaces could be mostly perceived as sticky. These results provide useful suggestions relating to the sensory perception and experience of materials, helpful for the industrial and product design in numerous application fields such as the automotive and electronics industries.


Surface coatings Aluminum Sensory perception Touch perception Human-centered design 



The authors would like to thank the Bando Regione Lombardia Fondazione Cariplo 2013 programme which funded the Project ID 42660345, entitled “Hybrid Aluminum Forging, HAF.”


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Copyright information

© American Coatings Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DesignPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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