Mild wear in dry and lubricated sliding systems

  • Stuart G. Hodgson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A vertical pin on horizontal disc machine has been used to conduct a series of experiments in air under dry and lubricating sliding conditions. For dry sliding low load and speed combinations were chosen to correspond to the mild wear region below the Welsh T1 transition. Lubricated tests were conducted under flooded conditions using Esso Technical White Oil alone and with a 0.1% stearic acid additive, for load and speed ranges that produced substantial amounts of asperity contact and thus a boundary lubricated regime of wear. The test material in all cases was AISI 52100 steel, for unlubricated sliding subjected to loads from 5 to 50 N and a range of speeds from 10-3 to 1.0 ms-1, and for lubricated sliding loads of 50 to 123 N and for speeds of 10-2 to 1.0 ms-1. Unlubricated wear debris was found to be a mixture of -Fe_2O_3 and -Fe. Unlubricated wear was found to occur via a thin film logarithmic oxide growth followed by agglomeration into thicker oxide plateaux 2 to 10 m in thickness. Lubricated wear occurred via thick film diffusion controlled oxide growth producing homogeneous oxide plateaux 0.1 to 0.2 m in thickness. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy identified the presence of a surface film on pins worn in White Oil with stearic acid, which is thought to be iron stearate.
A model has been developed for unlubricated wear based upon the postulated growth of thin film oxides by a logarithmic rate law. The importance of sliding geometry and environment to the dominant wear mechanism has been illustrated.
Date of AwardMar 1988
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn L Sullivan (Supervisor)


  • mild wear
  • lubricated sliding systems

Cite this