Lubricants (May 2021)

Planar Contact Fretting Test Method Applied to Solid Lubricants

  • Henrik Buse,
  • Fabian Schueler,
  • Erika Hodúlová

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 58
p. 58


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A new method of material and lubricant testing is demonstrated with a planar contact fretting wear tribometer under typical fretting wear conditions. The usual abstraction of contact geometries with an easy-to-align point or line contacts is deliberately dispensed to do justice to the frequently flat contacts of machine elements (shaft-hub connection, bearing seats, etc.). For the study, a new method of targeted observation of the contact surfaces during the test is used, which allows a time-lapse animation of the fretting wear progress of solid lubricant mixtures. Thus, the formation of possible transfer film build-up and the type of wear mechanism occurring can be visualized. This technique represents, in conjunction with additional analytical methods such as microscopy and SEM/EDX, a powerful tool to provide a better insight into the mechanisms of solid lubricant action under fretting conditions. To demonstrate the potential of this approach, a time to damage study is performed on commercial and self-prepared pastes from solid lubricants and white oil, where calcium hydroxide is a commonly employed solid lubricant for the avoidance of fretting wear is compared to other materials.