Application Examples

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Pre-screening the tribological properties of shock absorbers


Shock absorber component testing is expensive and time-consuming and this is a limiting factor in developing new materials for this application. There is a need to develop a pre-screening method to get a quick but accurate evaluation of the tribological behavior of materials, without losing too much correlation with the actual conditions (geometry, wear mechanism, load, speed, number of cycles etc.).

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A Cameron Plint TE-77 high frequency friction machine is modified to fit actual components of a shock absorber (rod and bearing). This set-up alloys for a reciprocating motion under variable frequencies, loads and/or displacements. The tests can be performed under dry or lubricated conditions, according to the specifications of the application. During the test, friction is continuously monitored and recorded. This is an important advantage over component test benches: changes in friction can be linked to surface changes (e.g. formation of wear particles) and/or a failure of the lubricating film. Different rod diameters can be tested. The wear on both rod and bearing can be evaluated by optical and confocal microscopy. 




  • A new adapter and test method was developed on a TE-77 high frequency friction machine to evaluate the frictional properties of shock absorbers on component level.
  • In situ monitoring of the coefficient of friction of the tribosystem allows to pinpoint changes in surface condition and/or lubricating film.
  • The wear mechanisms observed after testing are similar to in-field damage.
  • A ranking of different materials and coatings for shock absorber applications is possible.

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Testing of oils for the automotive industry

WHY ?  : A variety of oils for the automotive industry is available in the market. These oils have different composition, additives and can operate under different conditions (motion, load, speed and temperature). A method need to be used to prescreen the performance and endurance of these oils under different conditions, which are relevant to the automotive industry.    

HOW ?  : A TE-77 high frequency friction machine developed by Phoenix tribology, was used. This set-up alloys for a reciprocating motion under variable frequencies, loads, temperatures and/or displacements. During the test the friction, temperature of the bath and contact potential potential are continuously monitored and recorded. In this way variations in those parameters can be linked to changes in the oil (e.g. activation or depletion of additives), to surface changes (growth or removal of an oxide layer), to changes in the lubrication regime (in accordance with Stribeck curves) etc. After testing, the wear on both the plate and countermaterial are evaluated by optical and confocal microscopy.


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- TE-77 is a versatile machine that can test the reciprocating sliding wear of oils.

- The evolution of the coefficient of friction can be linked to temperature changes.

- Different oils can be ranked under various loading, speed and temperature conditions.

- The presence of contaminants (particles) in the oil can have a significant effect in its performance.

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