Wear Particles

Wear Particle Image

Wear Particle Image

The wear process results in generation of debris, or particles, of various size, shape, color distributions and chemical composition[1, 2, 3]. These distributions are dependent on normal load, sliding speed, environment and many other parameters[4]. The types of wear particles includes plate-shaped particles with aspect ratios of 2-10 produced as a result of accumulated plastic deformations, ribbon-shaped with aspect ratios higher than 10, produced by abrasion and even spherical particles[1]. Formation of spherical particles is not well understood, as they can be found in different types of contacts[5] and combinations of materials[6].

It is believed that the wear debris reflects the wear mechanism of its formation[7, 8]. Reda et al. [9] experimentally studied formation of debris in lubricated sliding steel contacts, and distinguished 6 wear regimes based on characteristic wear particles morphology and composition.


  1. [1] Bhushan B. Principles and Applicaion of Tribology. New York: A Wiley-Interscience Publication; 1999.
  2. [2] Bhushan B. Modern Tribology Handbook. Columbus: CRC Press; 2001.
  3. [3] Zmitrowicz A. Wear Debris: A Review of Properties and Constitutive Models. 2005;43.
  4. [4] Soda N. Wear of Some F.C.C. Metals During Unlubricated Sliding. Part II: Effects of Normal Load, Sliding Velocity and Atmospheric Pressure on Wear Fragments. 1975;35.
  5. [5] Rabinowicz E. The Formation of Spherical Wear Particles. 1977;42.
  6. [6] Akchuin A, Xu, S.,Tangpong,A., Akhatov,I., Tian-Liu, Weston,W., Zhong,W.-H. Nanoscale Characterization of Wear Particles Produced From CNF-Reinforced HDPE Composites. Houston: In proceedings of IMECE Annual Meeting; 2012.
  7. [7] Williams J, A. Wear and Wear Particles - Some Fudamentals. 2005;38.
  8. [8] Roylance B, J., Williams, J.,A., Dwyer-Joyce, R. Wear Debris and Associated Phenomena - Fundamental Research and Practice. 2000;214.
  9. [9] Reda A, A., Bowen, R. Characteristics of Particles Generated at the Interface Between Sliding Steel Surfaces. 1975;34.

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