Understanding Abrasion Testing

Friction plays a prominent role in the wear and tear of materials used across various industries. Abrasion testing is used to analyze the wear resistance of a material and to predict its lifetime by simulating wear conditions in an accelerated, controlled laboratory setting. These tests help ensure that a company’s products are free from defects and will perform consistently throughout their lifetime. In this article, we focus on abrasion testing uses and methods.

Who Uses Abrasion Testing?

A variety of industries require abrasion testing on their materials to maintain safety and quality standards. They include:

• Manufacturing

• Oil & Gas

• Automotive

• Aerospace

• Medical Equipment

Benefits of Abrasion Testing

Depending on the material being tested and its applications, wear resistance testing can help:

• Conduct research and development on new materials

• Compare different products’ performance

• Minimize product failure

• Measure product performance against industry standards

• Conduct independent product evaluations

• Assess functionality of a material for its intended use

Methods of Abrasion Testing

• Taber Abrasion Test

The Taber test is used to determine a material or coating’s wear rate and mass loss. This quick and affordable test can also be used to compare different materials’ wear and tear rates. The specimens are placed in contact with an abrasive wheel for some cycles, at a fixed speed and pressure to simulate environmental wear conditions. The mass of the specimen is weighed before and after the test. There are different industry standards for the Taber Test including ASTM F1978-12, ASTM D4060, and MIL-A-8625.

• Blade on Block Test

The blade-on-block test is used to determine the lifespans of coatings and effects of friction on them. A weighted block is used to rub back and forth against the specimen to test its resistance. It is a useful test for materials used in non-standard environmental conditions.

• Rubber Wheel Abrasion Test

For this test, the sample is loaded against a rotating rubber wheel and sand of different composition, grit size, and flow rate. It is then measured for mass and volume loss. Some testers such as the Sutherland Dual 2000 Tester by Danilee Co. LLC can test two specimens side by side for quicker testing.

• Pin on Disk Wear Test

This test measures how two materials wear when they exert friction against each other. One material is fashioned into a pin and the other material a disk. They are then abraded against each other and tested for wear properties. The pin-on-disk wear test is useful for identifying suitable material pairs for various applications. The test conditions can be varied e.g. temperature changes or submersion to simulate real life conditions.

• RCA Abrasion Test

This test measures the effect of friction on coatings and inks of printed switches. These surfaces are subject to abrasion by touch, cleaning, storage and accidental damage.

Various other abrasion testing methods help measure the effects of abrasion on materials under different environmental forces. Finding reliable, fast and affordable testing equipment can ensure a company’s products compete effectively in the market and maintain quality standards.

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