Application Examples

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Cost efficient data collection for statistical analysis of wear - TRL 6

WHY ?  : One of the most difficult industrial issues related to tribology is the prediction of long term wear or material durability.  In many components and products, materials with or without lubrication are used to reduce wear and maintain functionality of the component.  Required ‘wear life’ may be thousands of hours.  Contrary to the determination of a ‘coefficient of friction’ – which can be done in a few hours, the determination of wear and wear rate under realistic conditions is a long term test. The challenge is twofold : perform low wear rate experiments with many repeats at an economically acceptable cost.  The only way to do this is by a multistation approach (performing many wear experiments simultaneously). 

HOW ?  : Parallel tests were performed in our TRL6 prototype 10-station cross-cylinder block-on-cylinder tester. With this method, we test parallel and simultaneously different bulk or coated materials (metals, alloys, polymers, ceramics and composites), at moderate contact pressures and for a prolonged period of time. Adhesive or mild abrasive wear mechanisms are representative for the “actual” applications.

  • Up to 9 kilometers of sliding distance can be realised in a single day, on 10 wear contacts simultaneously.
  • To measure the wear damage, we use weight loss measurements, optical and/or confocal microscopy.  10 data points collected efficiently


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  • The wear of various materials can be measured in a time efficient and economical way, realistic wear rates simulate actual applications.
  • Statistical analysis of the wear data provides a higher confidence level and allows outlier analysis.
  • Reliability testing of materials becomes economically possible.

b2ap3_thumbnail_10-station_ranking-polymers Applications



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High speed sliding behavior of polymer coatings

WHY ?  : Nowadays polymer based coatings are applied in all walks of life, due to their excellent corrosion resistance, low friction and cost, good surface finish, molding ability and low density. However, one of the main issue of these coatings is their relatively poor performance in terms of wear. Especially, when sliding under high speeds, frictional heating can lead to a softening of the coating and accelerate the wearing-off process. Evaluating the high speed sliding performance of polymer coatings is a key issue in many applications.     

HOW ?  : A Basalt-S2 was used to measure the friction of various polymer coatings, under high speed sliding conditions. The coefficient of friction is continuously monitored and recorded. The wear damage was quantified by 3D confocal microscopy, the wear mechanisms identified by optical microscopy.


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- The high speed performance of different polymer coatings can be measured by the Basalt-S2.

- A ranking of different coatings is possible.

- The wearing-off of the coating leads to a fluctuation of the coefficient of friction.

- A 3D representation of the coefficient of friction (triboscopy) reveals differences in homogenity and stability of the coatings.

b2ap3_large_3D-COF_evolution_comparison polymers - Application examples | FACTLABS.ORG

b2ap3_thumbnail_Wear-evaluation Applications



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Fast screening polymer coatings on cables


Various types of polymers can be used on steel cables, to provide a controlled-friction and noise-reducing coating when used on pulleys.  An efficient way to prescreen the behaviour of different types of polymers, in terms of frictional stability and durability, is needed.



Typical loading stresses in the application are estimated and recalculated to a cylinder-on-cylinder contact situation.  In this way, cylindrical test samples can be used.  The coated steel wire is used as one of the two parts of the friction test.  The countermaterial is a hard steel pin, representing steel pulleys that the coated wire is running over.

To simulate the most severe conditions in the pulley-cable contact, pure sliding is used in the lab test.  A reciprocating motion is selected, to allow testing on a short piece of coated cable  (for the prescreening stage, no long coils of coated material can be used).

The Basalt-N2 is used to rub a steel pin over the coated cables and compare the friction coefficient and relative durability of the coatings with one another



  • Direct comparison of frictional behaviour of different polymer coatings measured immediately on the coated cable : production influences are included in the test.
  • Ranking of friction for different materials

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  • Ranking of durability of different materials

b2ap3_large_WearDepth Applications

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