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Design and construction of a novel tribometer with online topography and wear measurement

: Korres, S.; Dienwiebel, M.


Review of scientific instruments 81 (2010), Nr.6, Art. 063904, 7 S.
ISSN: 0034-6748
ISSN: 1089-7623
Fraunhofer IWM ()

We present a novel experimental platform that links topographical and material changes with the friction and wear behavior of oil-lubricated metal surfaces. This concept combines state-of-the-art methods for the analysis of the surface topography on the micro- and nanoscale with the online measurement of wear. At the same time, it allows for frictional and lateral force detection. Information on the topography of one of the two surfaces is gathered in situ with a three-dimensional (3D) holography microscope at a maximum frequency of 15 frames/s and higher resolution images are provided at defined time intervals by an atomic force microscope. The wear measurement is conducted online by means of radio nuclide technique. The quantitative measurement of the lateral and frictional forces is conducted with a custom-built 3D force sensor. The surfaces can be lubricated with an optically transparent oil or water. The stability and precision of the setup have been tested in a model experiment. The results show that the exact same position can be relocated and examined after each load cycle. Wear and topography measurements were performed with a radioactive labeled iron pin sliding against an iron plate.