There are several well-known bench tests for assessing the wear properties of lubricants and materials, including the fourball, block on ring and V-block tests. However, none of these is well-suited for studying mild lubricated wear. All rely on the determination of wear from the size of the wear scar on the stationary body in a pure sliding, non-conforming contact configuration. However in this type of system, the wear process itself results in a large change in contact geometry and thus a contact pressure that varies significantly during the wear test. Also these approaches generally provide a measure of wear only at the end of the test; wear cannot be monitored throughout it. The paper described a new method to quantify mild wear that addresses the above problems.
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