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A Tribometer for Measurements in Hostile Environments



Andrew Slifka, J Chaudhuri, R Compos, James D. Siegwarth


A tribometer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado is used to measure the coefficient of friction and the wear rate for various specimens in a controlled atmosphere of oxygen or non-corrosive gas. The wide range of demonstrated operating temperature of 80 to 1030 K is presently unavailable in any commercial apparatus. The machine uses ball-on-flat or ring-on-flat specimen geometries for comparison of conforming and non-conforming contacts. The tribometer can be loaded to produce a hertzian contact stress in excess of 12 GPa (1.7 x 106 lbf in -2) and surface velocities from 0.06 m s-1 to 4.0 m s-1. A range of environmental conditions this wide is unusual, especially the temperature range. The apparatus is described and some test results are compared with known values.


apparatus, cryogenic, friction, tribology, wear


Slifka, A. , Chaudhuri, J. , Compos, R. and Siegwarth, J. (1993), A Tribometer for Measurements in Hostile Environments, Wear (Accessed February 27, 2024)
Created May 31, 1993, Updated October 12, 2021