How can we measure the friction and wear of wires in sliding contacts?
In everyday life we come across and use applications were wires are operated in sliding contacts. Some examples are elevators, car doors, canopies etc. In the majority of these applications, friction is critical (e.g. the wire in a canopy should slide smoothly), and after a period of tuse, wear damage of the wire can also obstruct the performance.
With our Basalt-N2 tribometer, we can easily hold and position wires of all shapes and sizes against various countermaterials. Holders having different diameters were designed and manufactured to clamp the different wires. To maintain the same contacting surface during each test and between different tests, a self-aligning holder was manufactured to correctly align and hold the cylinder in contact with the wire. The load and contact pressures were calculated by Hertzwin software to be in accordance with the in-field conditions. The evolution of the coefficient of friction was continuously monitored, whereas the wear damage on both the wire and the countermaterial (tool steel cylinder) was measured by 3D confocal microscopy. Multiple tests were performed per wire to evaluate the repeatability of tribological data and to perform a statistical analysis.
- A convenient method to measure the friction and wear on wires in sliding contacts was developed for the Basalt-N2.
- Very high repeatability in friction data.
- Differences in the friction and wear of various commercial wires could be discerned.
- Statistical analysis of tribological data increases the confidence levels and helps to point-out outliers.
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