Using an Integrated Profilometer for Progressive Tribology Mapping of Flooring

Daily activities such as human movement and movement of furniture impose constant degradation onto flooring. Flooring, usually comprised of ceramic, stone or wood, must be able to handle the wear and tear it is designed for, whether commercial or residential applications.

Therefore, most flooring has a layer called the wear layer that is supposed to be resistant to wear. The durability and thickness of the wear layer depend on the type of flooring and the amount of foot traffic it will be receiving. Flooring can have multiple layers (e.g. wear layer, glaze, UV-coating, decorative layer etc.) and the wear rate through each layer can be very different. The progression of wear on a stone and wood flooring can be closely observed using the Nanovea T2000 Tribometer with a 3D Non-Contact Line Sensor attachment.

Importance of Progressive Wear Testing for Floor Panels

An overall wear rate can be obtained by traditional wear testing on flooring. The wear rate can be used as an indication of the sample’s wear resistance. The wear rate of the sample can be sequentially calculated throughout the wear test by conducting progressive wear testing. This can then be used to give insight into the wear behavior of the sample. Comparison between the wear rate and friction data can also be correlated to identify the underlying wear. Observing the progression of wear can better represent the wear of a sample because wear rate is not constant during a wear test.

The Nanovea T2000 Tribometer with a 3D Non-Contact Line Sensor attachment is perfectly suited for this application because it can move precisely from the pin, where the wear testing is done, to the profilometer, where the volume loss can be obtained. This is crucially important because offsets in the wear track location or wear track radius will give non-ideal data.

The 3D Non-Contact Line Sensor was able to conduct surface measurements fast, with each scan only taking a matter of seconds, which greatly reduced the amount of time spent. Additionally, the Nanovea T2000 Tribometer is able to apply up to 2,000 N in load and spin up to 5,000 rpm which allows for a wide range of usable testing parameters.

Sample set-up prior to wear testing (left) and post wear test profilometry of wear track (right)

Figure 1. Sample set-up prior to wear testing (left) and post wear test profilometry of wear track (right)

Measurement Objective

Progressive wear testing was conducted on two types of flooring material: wood and stone. Each sample had a total of seven test cycles with increasing test duration (2, 4, 8, 20, 40, 60, 120 seconds) in order to compare wear over time. The wear track was profiled with the Nanovea 3D Non-Contact Line Sensor between each test cycle. Using the data collected by the line sensor, the wear rate and volume of a hole can be analyzed using the integrated feature in Nanovea tribometer software or the surface analysis software, Mountains.

Test Conditions and Procedure

The following testing parameters were repeated seven times per sample:

Table 1

Parameters All Samples
Load (N) 40
Test Duration (seconds) Varies
Speed (rpm) 200
Radius (mm) 10
Distance (m) Varies
Ball Material Tungsten Carbide
Ball Diameter (mm) 10

 

Test duration used over the seven cycles were: 2, 4, 8, 20, 40, 60, and 120 seconds. Their respective distance travelled is 0.40, 0.81, 1.66, 4.16, 8.36, 12.55 and 25.11.

Results

Wood Flooring

Table 2

Test Cycle Max COF Min COF Avg COF
1 0.335 0.124 0.275
2 0.337 0.207 0.298
3 0.380 0.229 0.329
4 0.393 0.265 0.354
5 0.352 0.205 0.314
6 0.345 0.199 0.312
7 0.315 0.211 0.293

 

Table 3

Test Cycle Total Volume Loss(µm3) Total Distance Traveled (m) Wear Rate (mm/Nm) x10-5 Instantaneous Wear Rate (mm/Nm) x10-5
1 296247687 0.40 1833.746 1833.746
2 355245227 1.22 1093.260 181.5637
3 596371326 2.88 898.242 363.1791
4 883747767 7.04 530.629 172.5496
5 1207179951 15.40 360.889 96.69074
6 1472745318 27.95 293.329 52.89311
7 1851319210 53.06 184.343 37.69599

 

Wear rate vs total distance travelled (left) and instantaneous wear rate vs test cycle (right) for wood flooring.

Figure 2. Wear rate vs total distance travelled (left) and instantaneous wear rate vs test cycle (right) for wood flooring.

COF graph and 3D view of wear track from test #7 on wood flooring.

COF graph and 3D view of wear track from test #7 on wood flooring.

Figure 3. COF graph and 3D view of wear track from test #7 on wood flooring.

Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Figure 4. Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Volume and Area Analysis of Wear Track on Wood Sample Test #7

Figure 5. Volume and Area Analysis of Wear Track on Wood Sample Test #7

Stone Flooring

Table 4

Test Cycle Max COF Min COF Avg COF
1 0.249 0.035 0.186
2 0.349 0.197 0.275
3 0.294 0.154 0.221
4 0.503 0.124 0.273
5 0.548 0.106 0.390
6 0.510 0.129 0.434
7 0.527 0.181 0.472

 

Table 5

Test Cycle Total Volume Loss(µm3) Total Distance (m) Wear Rate (mm/Nm) x10-5 Instantaneous Wear Rate (mm/Nm) x10-5
1 96278846 0.40 595.957 595.9573
2 804289731 1.22 2475.185 2178.889
3 1316147855 2.88 1982.355 770.9501
4 3136530215 7.04 1883.269 1093.013
5 10821732180 15.40 3235.180 2297.508
6 20174960343 27.95 4018.282 1862.899
7 42512063420 53.06 4233.081 2224.187

 

Wear rate vs total distance travelled (left) and instantaneous wear rate vs test cycle (right) for stone flooring.

Figure 6. Wear rate vs total distance travelled (left) and instantaneous wear rate vs test cycle (right) for stone flooring.

COF graph and 3D view of wear track from test #7 on stone flooring.

COF graph and 3D view of wear track from test #7 on stone flooring.

Figure 7. COF graph and 3D view of wear track from test #7 on stone flooring.

Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Figure 8. Cross-Sectional Analysis of Wood Wear Track from Test #7

Volume and Area Analysis of Wear Track on Wood Sample Test #7

Figure 9. Volume and Area Analysis of Wear Track on Wood Sample Test #7

Discussion

The following equation is used to calculate the instantaneous wear rate:

where N is the load, V is the volume of a hole and X is the total distance. [1] This equation demonstrates the wear rate between test cycles. The instantaneous wear rate can be used in order to identify changes in wear rate throughout the test.

The two samples have very different wear behaviors. For the stone flooring, the wear rate seems to start at a low value and, over cycles, trends to a higher value. The wood flooring starts with a higher wear rate but quickly drops to a smaller, steady value.

Although the specific reason for this difference is not certain, it may be due to the structure of the samples. The wood flooring has a compact structure which would wear differently compared to the stone flooring which consists of loose, grain-like particles. Additional research and testing are needed to ascertain the cause for this wear behavior.

Data from the COF appears to agree with the observed wear behavior. The COF graph for the wood flooring appears constant throughout the cycles which compliments its steady wear rate. The average COF for the stone flooring increases throughout the cycles and this is similar to how the wear rate also increases with cycles. Also apparent are changes in the shape of the friction graphs which suggests changes in how the ball interreacts with the stone sample. This can be seen most clearly in cycle 2 and cycle 4.

Conclusion

The Nanovea T2000 Tribometer demonstrates its ability to perform progressive wear testing by investigating the wear rate between two flooring samples. Greater insight into how a material wears over time is achieved by interrupting a continuous wear test and scanning the surface with the Nanovea 3D Non-Contact Line Sensor.

The amount of data that can be obtained from the Nanovea T2000 Tribometer with the 3D Non-Contact Line Sensor (e.g. surface measurements, surface visualization, COF data, wear rate, volume loss, depth reading, and more) gives the user the fine details of the interactions between the sample and the system. The Nanovea T2000 Tribometer can bring tribology to the next level with its high precision, controlled loading, ease of use, high speed loading range and additional environmental modules.

References

[1] Erck, R. A., and O. O. Ajayi. "Analysis of sliding wear rate variation with nominal contact pressure." Proceedings of international joint tribology conference. 2001.

Nanovea.

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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