Applications of tribology in polymer industry

Polymers are used in many applications for their low friction coefficient, high wear resistance and stable chemical properties. These applications usually involve some kind of relative movement, where two parts are in contact. In some cases the friction is dry whereas in other cases lubricants are used to further decrease the coefficient of friction and reduce wear. In all these cases the frictional properties of the contact are important and have to be measured. The pin on disk and other tribometers are excellent tools for evaluating tribological properties of polymer materials under precisely defined conditions.

Friction is extremely important in many areas of industry because reduction of friction can lead to considerable savings in energy. Excessive friction can lead to damage of materials, either directly or indirectly by heat generation. At the same time, wear resistance is also important because it determines from a great part the life time of a component. Both of these phenomena therefore have to be studied in detail in order to reduce energy consumption and increase the life time of sliding components. Tribology studies the properties of two or more materials in relative motion under various conditions. The main outcome of a tribological
measurement is coefficient of friction and wear rate. This application report presents several applications of tribological testing of polymers, both in fundamental and applied research, in dry and lubricated environment.

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