Tribology Testing

Wear Track 3D -

Modular Tribometers

A tribometer allows you to study the interaction of surfaces, from friction and lubrication to wear and abrasion. Interacting surfaces are found everywhere, in ball bearings, between car tyres and the road or between a finger and a touch screen. Friction is vital to breaks, but may damage parts inside an engine. Designing materials to interact in an optimal way, both with regard to performance and life-time, is therefore crucial.

The Rtec Tribometer systems offers a modular design, which allows you to configure the tribometer according to your needs. An extensive force range, temperature chambers, tribological modules and 3D imaging capabilities, provides you the unique setup for investigating friction, wear and lubrication.

Tribology testing

modular tribometers

MFT-2000 | benchtop tribometer

MFT-3000 | benchtop tribometer

MFT-5000 | multi functional tribometer

Vacuum Tribometer | vacuum tribometer for rotary and linear friction

High Pressure Tribometer | supports testing at controlled test environments at high pressures

How does a Tribometer work?

In essence, a tribometer allows you to bring two surfaces into contact under highly controlled conditions. Typical setups of the system are Pin/Ball-on-Disk (rotational wear), Linear reciprocating (e.g. piston movement), Block-on-Ring (lubrication, wear), Twist Compression Tester (evaluating lubricants, materials and coatings), Fretting Tester (high frequency, small amplitudes oscillations), 4-Ball tester (lubricants), Tribo-corrosion (the combined effects of mechanical and chemical interaction between materials).

The interaction between surfaces can be modified by adding liquids, lubricants or abrasive particles. The tests can be performed under a wide set of controlled conditions. Variables are, among others, temperature, contact pressure, humidity, or type of gas. Interchangeable modules will help you to adjust the tribotester according to your needs.

Interchangeable modules on the Tribometer systems provides optimum flexibility in testing your applications. This system covers a wide range of forces, from nano tribology to heavy load measurements.

Tribometer

Why use a Tribometer?

All movements or displacements create friction and thereby wear. Tribology is vital to test coatings or lubricants that will reduce this wear and ensure proper functioning of mechanical components. Of course, a tribometer is also needed to develop new coatings and lubricants.

Some obvious applications are in the automotive industry, for testing of pistons, bearings, brake pads, tires or windscreen wipers. But tribology is also important in medical applications like implants, catheter or contact lenses, or in touch screens, mirrors en lenses. Jewellery is exposed to mechanical friction, as are paint, coatings or varnishes. And the list of applications is much longer than this.

tribometer

Applications of Tribology:

Brake material testing

The brakes on a car should have a high friction and a low wear. The MFT-5000 tribometer is well suited to test brake pad materials. The system can apply up to 12,000 N downforce, and measures contact pressure, initial temperature, sliding speed and deceleration. Other key parameters during a brake test are the torque, coefficient of friction or sliding speeds. All these are registered under decelerating conditions, for example, a reduction of speed or coming to a full stop.

During the test, data is collected using a range of advanced sensors and a high-speed data acquisition system. Test cycles can be repeated with the same or different settings, for example variations in initial rotation speed or brake pressure. It is also possible to control environmental conditions. Any debris material produced by the test will be collected for further analysis.

These and more possibilities make the Rtec MFT 5000 a fast, reliable and cost-effective tool for screening of brake and rotor materials. Even small changes in the composition of material during the test are registered by the sensors. Using the inline profilometer it is possible to study the change in sample surface with sub nm resolution.

Tribometer

Lubricants testing

Block on ring tester helps to determine the friction and wear characteristics of greases and other lubricants. These can be measured using a sliding application with grease dispensers at controlled flow rates. Temperature (up to 500 degrees Celsius) and pressure (up to 10,000 N) can be varied during the test. At extreme pressure (EP test), a stepwise or linear increase in load is applied, until there is a seizure or sudden increase of coefficient of friction. The wear on the sample is evaluated during and after the test.

The Rtec MFT-5000 tribometer is a versatile block on ring tribology tester which allows a range of customised block on ring wear tests to evaluate the performance of different lubricants, like greases, solid lubricants or oils, for example in an oscillating ring test. The module allows testing of real components including shafts, power transmission components, tapered roller bearings, thrust bearings and their counter parts without serious modifications.

Ultra-low friction

The MFT-5000 instrument can be fitted with a nano tribometer module to perform low coefficient of friction tribology. This module uses Rtec’s patented Graphite series of load cells to measure forces at unprecedented levels. The sensors have hardly any thermal drift or cross talk. The module accepts samples with a wide range of different sizes and geometries and is well suited for ultra-low friction tribology measurements, for example on 2D materials or thin films.

The nano tribometer module provides an alternative to Atomic Force Microscopy for measurements of very low friction. As such, it has a series of advantages over the AFM. For example, it can provide a much larger downforce, provides measurements with higher repeatability, can test a larger sample area and the climate chamber provides control of the environment.

The Rtec MFT-5000 tribometer is a versatile block on ring tribology tester which allows a range of customised block on ring wear tests to evaluate the performance of different lubricants, like greases, solid lubricants or oils, for example in an oscillating ring test. The module allows testing of real components including shafts, power transmission components, tapered roller bearings, thrust bearings and their counter parts without serious modifications.

Low-friction-test-Tribomete