Choosing the Right Tribometer for your Needs

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A tribometer is used to measure the tribological characteristics of a material, including friction, lubrication, and wear. These instruments work by performing tests and simulations of these characteristics in order to analyze the long-term performance of products and materials.

Nanovea tribometers are used to perform three different types of tribology testing, temperature, liquid, and corrosion. This article will outline each type in order for you to determine which is the most suitable type of tribology for your requirements.

Temperature Tribology

Materials can be susceptible to high levels of wear damage due to the temperature, so temperature tribology is an important test for materials to see how they perform at a range of temperatures. The Nanoeva tribometer conducts wear tests at temperatures of up to 950oC for the rotative test and 350oC for the linear test.

The wear measurement is performed in a large enclosed oven, which guarantees stable and uniform temperature distribution. The thermocouple provides an accurate temperature reading as it is set up to be very close to the point of contact or to directly touch the back of the ball inside the ball holder.

The unique heat sink design on the main shift of the rotative motor of the Nanoeva tribometer provides sufficient air supply for cooling the electronics in the bottom of the instrument during wear tests at high temperatures. The load cell is self-calibrated for high temperatures to ensure precise results.

In addition to testing at high temperatures, the tribometer also has a cooling unit to allow testing down too -40oC. This allows parts that are subjected to cold temperatures, such as tire rubber, to be tested.

Liquid Tribology

Many materials used in industrial applications are placed in liquids or lubricants, such as biomaterials for biological replacements and motor engines.

Tribology is a crucial task to ensure the correct levels of wear and friction are achieved in these applications.

Biological replacements, such as stents, dental roots, or joints need to be tested as they require outstanding long-term resistance and strength in a liquid environment. Motor engines need to be tested for sufficient lubrication to ensure a long lifespan.

The tribometer performs simulations of the wear process using the liquid/lubricant linear and rotative cup modules for accurate results.

When testing wear with the tribometer, the coefficient of friction (COF) provides an insight into the different stages of wear development. A continual Stribeck Curve for the test lubricant can be measured with the COF combined with the precise control and continuous change of speed.

Corrosion Tribology

Corrosion tribology, or tribocorrosion, is the process of surface degradation that is a result of the simultaneous tribological and electrochemical actions in a corrosive environment. In a tribocorrosion test, wear and corrosion experiments are performed simultaneously using a sliding ball-on-plate configuration. In this test, the contact of the wear process is completely immersed in the test electrolyte.

The tribocorrosion module has a sample stage with a three-terminal electrochemical cell installed on it. The open circuit potential (OCP) is measured to monitor the evolution of the tribocorrosion process, and the reduction of OCP indicates that the protective film has failed. A change in coefficient of friction (COF) can also indicate different stages of wear development of the material.

The effect of corrosion reactions on the tribocorrosion rate can be investigated by wear tests conducted under anodic or cathodic polarization conditions to accelerate or inhibit the corrosion process.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Nanovea.

For more information on this source, please visit Nanovea.

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