The wear rate of any lubricated contact is dependent on many factors, including, surface roughness, lubricant composition, environment, operating conditions, temperatures, etc. There are also many different wear mechanisms, often operating in parallel. Since wear in itself is not an intrinsic property of a system, different wear tests can give very different results.
Despite their popularity and widespread use, all wear bench test methods all have some shortcomings when used to investigate complex lubricant additive combinations. However sophisticated the test method, they are inevitably unable to directly mimic real lubricated contacts conditions of machine elements. Interpretation of different bench test results can be difficult and misleading conclusions can sometimes be drawn.
A new pure sliding wear test is described which can produce measurable wear within a reasonable period of time. The repeatability and merits of the test method is discussed.
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