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Design and Validation of Laboratory-Scale Simulations for Selecting Tribomaterials and Surface Treatments
Published September 08, 1997 by Institution of Mechanical Engineers in United Kingdom
Event: New Directions in Tribology
Engineering approaches to solving tribology problems commonly involve friction, lubrication, or wear testing, either in the field or in a laboratory setting. Since wear and friction are properties of the materials in the larger context of the tribosystem, the selection of appropriate laboratory tribotesting procedures becomes critically important. Laboratory simulations must exhibit certain key characteristics of the application in order for the test results to be relevant, but they may not have to mimic all operating conditions. The current paper illustrates a step-by-step method to develop laboratory-scale friction and wear simulations based on a tribosystem analysis. Quantitative or qualitative metrics are established and used to validate the effectiveness of the tribosimulation. Sometimes standardized test methods can be used, but frequently a new type of test method or procedure must be developed. There are four factors to be addressed in designing effective simulations: (1) contact macrogeometry and the characteristics of relative motion, (2) pressure-velocity relationships, (3) thermal and chemical environment (including type of lubrication), and (4) the role of third-bodies. In addition, there are two typical choices of testing philosophy: (1) the worst-case scenario, and (2) the nominal-operations scenario. Examples of the development and use of simulative friction and wear tests are used to illustrate major points.