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Last updated: November 30, 2018

What Does Wear Mean?

Wear is a process of interaction between surfaces, which causes the deformation and removal of material on the surfaces due to the effect of mechanical action between the sliding faces. Wear also refers to the dimension loss of plastic deformation. Plastic deformation leads to wear; it causes the deterioration of metal surfaces, which is known as "metallic wear".

Wear is the result of many things such corrosion, erosion, abrasion, chemical processes, or combinations of these factors. The processes of wear are studied in the field of tribology.


Corrosionpedia Explains Wear

Wear is a phenomenon through which the deformation of surfaces of materials occurs. Common types of wear include:

  1. Adhesive Wear: Unwanted displacement and debris production resulting in the creation of frictional contact between surfaces. It is visible by fretting, pits, holes, or scales transfer.
  2. Abrasive Wear: Loss of material resulting from sliding hard surfaces. Can be seen as scratches, grooves, or corrugations.
  3. Surface Fatigue: Material surface weakened by cyclic loading. Can be witnessed as tears or small holes.
  4. Fretting Wear: A little shift of the contacting surfaces under load in oscillatory motion.
  5. Erosive Wear: Results from impact of sharp particles on a surface. First seen as changes in surface finish.

In abrasive wear, hard particles, contaminating oil, insufficient metal hardness, and hard metal with rough surface against soft metal promote wear. In erosive wear, the high velocity of sharp particles increases wears. On the other hand, in surface fatigue, cyclic stress over long periods, water, dirt in oil and particles of metal with sharp edges enhances wear. In a corrosive environment, corrodible metals, rust-promoting conditions, and high temperatures facilitate wear.

Specific coatings are used to prevent the effects of wear as well as to repair wear surfaces. This saves costly components from replacement and failure. In order to select the appropriate coating, the wear type should be identified first.


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