For decades, tribological research and application engineers have implicitly desired more PV wear and friction test data than they typically receive for critical material decisions. All too frequently, they have been limited to sparse data from a few PV tests, results of which are rarely near the PV parameters they are considering. Critical decisions have been made based on extrapolating this limited data, including go/no go decisions on new material candidates as well as product performance determining bearing designs. Surprises have been known to occur such as new material marketing failures and/or premature product failures. The demand for more comprehensive PV data has always been there, it’s just been nearly impossible to address in and timely and cost efficient manner with traditional tribological testing methods.
Webster defines spectrum as “a continuous sequence or range.” Therefore, we have defined our approach to providing comprehensive, wide ranging PV testing as “Tribo-Spectrometry.” The challenge to achieve this new concept of tribo-spectrometry was to develop a testing system that could perform a spectrum of test parameters in a timely and cost effective manner.
We set a goal to design a test system to perform 100 distinct PV tests on a popular plane bearing polymer in less than 24 hours, about the time it takes to get results for one or two PV parameters with traditional equipment. We are proud to say we have succeeded. Since our system provides a spectrum of tribological data, we call it a “Tribo-Spectrometer.” Tribis uses the wide spectrum test results to generate “design maps” that readily display how a material’s wear and friction performance varies as P and V vary. Materials can now be compared across a range of PV’s in order to assist in making more reliable material decisions.
Below are two materials with comparable published PV data. As can be seen, both have a wide operating range and can be used as substitutes across many PV parameters. However, they exhibit striking differences in their overall management of PV. Material A appears to perform best at higher speeds and lower pressures, while Material B appears to perform best at moderate speeds and pressures.
Please see our sample report for an example of design maps for PV/Wear Rate, friction, and heat generation, along with the raw data behind the maps.