In situ observation of wear process before and during scuffing in sliding contact

Kazuyuki Yagi, Yukito Ebisu, Joichi Sugimura, Seiji Kajita, Toshihide Ohmori, Atsushi Suzuki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    In this study, a direct observation of a point contact area was conducted to understand the scuffing phenomenon. The contact area was produced between a rotating sapphire disc and a stationary steel ball and it was lubricated using n-hexadecane. The image detected by a colour digital CCD camera, load, and friction were synchronously recorded by a computer during the test. It was found that wear debris produced in the contact area played an important role in the wear process, which includes running-in and scuffing. In the test, debris particles accumulated in the inlet zone, and some particles entered the contact area to cause abrasive wear of the ball surface, even in the light-load stages. During the running-in process, the abrasive wear by debris particles changed the conformity between the sliding surfaces. In the high-load stage, just before the occurrence of scuffing, the whole contact area was flattened at once. When scuffing occurred, the contact area suddenly expanded. The conformity of the contact area was dramatically changed during its expansion. The flattening of the whole contact area and dramatic expansion with changing the conformity seemed to play important roles in scuffing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)361-368
    Number of pages8
    JournalTribology Letters
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Surfaces and Interfaces
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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