Abrasive Wear

Definition - What does Abrasive Wear mean?

Wear, in material science, simply means erosion or the displacement of a material from its original form. It can happen on its own or be caused by contact with another surface. Abrasive wear takes place when a rough, hard surface glides across a surface that is relatively softer.

Corrosionpedia explains Abrasive Wear

Abrasive wear is typically categorized by the contact environment and the type of contact. The contact type defines the abrasive wear mode. In general, there are two types of abrasive wear:

  • Two-body abrasive wear - This type takes place when hard particles or grit eliminate material from the opposing surface. This can be best described by thinking of a material being displaced or removed through a plowing or cutting operation.
  • Three-body wear - This occurs when the particles are unconstrained and are able to slide down and roll on a surface. The environment of contact defines whether the classification of wear is a closed or open type. An open wear environment takes place when surfaces are adequately displaced to become free of each other.

There are several factors that influence the occurrence of abrasive wear and the way a material is removed. Various mechanisms are used to define the way the material is eliminated. The three major mechanisms related to abrasive wear are:

  • Fragmentation - This takes place when a certain material is separated from a façade through a cutting process. This results in indenting abrasive that can cause localized fracture within the wear material. Cracks spread freely throughout the wear, leading to further material removal.
  • Cutting - This occurs when a material separates from a surface in tiny chips or debris, with only minimal or no displacement to both of the groove sides. This is similar to conventional machining.
  • Plowing - This occurs when there is material displacement sideways, moving away from the particles of wear. This results in groove formation that does not involve removal of material. The displaced material creates ridges along the grooves that may be eliminated by consequent abrasive material passage.
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