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adhesive wear in the form of galling

Adhesive Wear

What is Adhesive Wear?

The Basics of Adhesive Wear

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The Basics of Adhesive Wear

Adhesive wear occurs due to the intimate contact and interaction between two solid surfaces under load, resulting in the transfer or removal of material. This metal failure mode is commonly observed in industrial applications with moving components that experience friction and wear.
Adhesive wear can be defined as the loss or transfer of material from a surface due to the mechanical interaction between two contacting surfaces, where the adhesion between asperities on the surfaces leads to the formation and subsequent detachment of wear debris. Forms of this metal wear mechanism include micro welding, galling, seizing, scuffing, and scoring.

Several factors influence the occurrence and severity of adhesive wear in mechanical systems. These variables include:

  • Material Properties: The hardness, ductility, and chemical reactivity of the materials involved play a significant role in determining their susceptibility to wear from adhesion. Softer, more ductile materials are generally more prone to adhesive wear due to the ease of material transfer.
  • Surface Roughness: The roughness of the contacting surfaces can affect the real areas of contact and the interaction between asperities, influencing the extent of adhesive wear.
  • Contact Pressure and Sliding Speed: Higher contact pressures and sliding speeds can lead to increased wear rates due to elevated frictional forces and temperatures at the contacting surfaces.
  • Lubrication: Lubricant should be selected to provide adequate load carrying capacity given the operating parameters of the system.

There are a few steps that can be taken to minimize the occurrence and severity of adhesive damage in mechanical systems, including:

  • Proper Lubrication: More than any other wear mode, adhesive wear is sensitive to proper design and function of the lubricant system including lubricant type and quality. Utilize appropriate lubricants to minimize direct contact between surfaces, reduce friction, and provide a protective film that inhibits adhesion.
  • Surface Finish & Coatings: Improve the surface finish of components through processes such as grinding or polishing to reduce asperity interactions. Too high a surface finish results in asperities that can break through the oil film, and too smooth a finish prevents lubricant from being drawn into the joint (lubrication retention). Metal coatings such as chrome, diamond like carbon (DLC), and HVOF coatings can significantly improve adhesive performance.
  • Material Selection: Choose materials with suitable properties, such as high hardness, low ductility, and favorable chemical compatibility, to reduce the propensity of wear from adhesion. Some materials like aluminum and stainless steel are inherently more susceptible to wear cause by adhesion. Austenitic grades (300 series) of stainless steel are especially poor at resisting adhesive wear while martensitic and precipitation hardening (PH) grades are somewhat better. There are proprietary grades of stainless steel (Nitronic 60) specially formulated to provide excellent wear resistance.

Armoloy's Solution to Wear

Armoloy offers multiple metal surface treatments with varying levels of protection from the common causes of wear from adhesion. Offering both broad-spectrum and industry-specific applications, our protective metallic coatings add significant value through increased performance and decreased revenue losses from unplanned maintenance and downtime.

Our protective coatings ensure a thin, precise coat that won’t impact production, but will improve surface hardness and prevent environmental defects. Beyond increasing wear life, Armoloy tailors our metallic coatings based on the specific requirements of your application and industry.

Beyond the Lab: Metal Failures in Narrative Form

Other Metal Failure Modes

Other metal failures include:

Metal wear can also result from, or be a precursor to, other potential metal failures

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