We study theoretically and numerically the kinetics of the coefficient of friction of an elastomer due to abrupt changes of sliding velocity. Numerical simulations reveal the same qualitative behavior which has been observed experimentally on different classes of materials: the coefficient of friction first jumps and then relaxes to a new stationary value. The elastomer is modeled as a simple Kelvin body and the surface as a self-affine fractal with a Hurst exponent in the range from 0 to 1. Parameters of the jump of the coefficient of friction and the relaxation time are determined as functions of material and loading parameters. Depending on velocity and the Hurst exponent, relaxation of friction with characteristic length or characteristic time is observed.
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