The main objective of this research was to investigate whether generalized friction calibration curves, as recommended in the literature for use with ring compression tests, are applicable to all types of materials and test conditions. Specifically, the effects of material properties, strain-rate sensitivity, and "barreling" on the behavior of friction calibration curves were investigated. To this end, a series of ring compression tests were conducted in order to determine the magnitude of the friction coefficient, mu, as well as the corresponding calibration curves for two types of modeling materials, white and black Plasticine. The experiments were first conducted using the Physical Modeling Technique (PMT) and then simulated via an elastic-plastic finite element code (ABAQUS). In contrast to the results available in the literature, where the same friction calibration curves are recommended for all types of materials and test conditions, the results of this investigation showed that friction calibration curves are indeed affected by the material properties and test conditions and every material possesses its own distinctive friction calibration curve. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.