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Application Note: AN8071



The Rtec Universal Tribometer - MFT5000 is a multi functional tribometer that can run several friction, wear tests on the same platform. It can perform ASTM, DIN, ISO and non standard tribology tests. The tribometer comes with easy to interchange modules that allows it to run different tests on same platform.
This application note uses rotary module to run a common friction and wear test. The test helps to determine coefficient of friction, wear, friction, rate of wear, volume wear, wear resistance. Test is applicable to materials, coatings, liquid and lubricants. The test can run under wide range of load, sliding speed, rotational speed and temperature.
Common keywords - pin on disc friction test, pin on disc wear testing machine, pin on disc wear tester, pin on disc apparatus. 

Pin on Disc Tribometer


Tribology tests requires two specimens. In this case a pin or ball that is positioned perpendicular to a flat circular disk. The universal upper and lower sample holders are used to mount the samples. Common test specimens are 10mm diameter 100Cr6 steel ball or 6.3mm stainless steel pin and 100Cr6 disk. The surface flatness and roughness of both materials are critical to get repeatable results. 

The tribometer causes stationary pin or ball to press against the rotating disk. During the test coefficient of friction (COF), friction force, wear rate, wear volume, temperature and several other tribology parameters are measured. The pin on disc wear testing machine set up is ideal for characterizing tribology properties of alloys, ceramics, polymers, metals, coatings, solid lubricants etc. The Figure shows test setup in dry conditions. Figure shows the set up in lubricated conditions with the samples submerged in lubricant. With Rtec tribometer it is possible to do such setups at room or at wide temperature range from -120 to 1000C 

Pin on Disk Tribometer


Ball Image

Figure shows the ball wear mark after the test.
Figure shows the comparison of coefficient of
friction w.r.t. time for four specimens under
same load and rotation speed against a Cr6 ball
of 10mm diameter at 200C. The coating on
sample 1 breaks the fastest while sample 2
shows low friction throughout the test. At the
MFT platform it is possible to do such tests at
room or at high temperatures.

Pin on Disc Wear Testing Graph

Automatic Inline Imaging – Roughness, Wear, volume vs time

Rtec multi-function tribometer comes with an patented inline 3D Profilometer. The profilometer automatically measures the surface topography of the wear track at pre-set intervals defined by the user e.g. after a certain number of cycles, duration of time or at the on-set of an event such as increase in friction. The XY stage is equipped with advanced encoders to automatically move the sample between the test and image area. The ability to quantifiably characterize the change in surface topography and wear track with time and combining it with friction data makes the analyses extremely powerful.

The initial 3D image acquired using the profilometer also allows to account for machining marks, grain boundaries and can be useful to explain difference in friction, stick slip, wear etc. between specimens. Figure shows the wear mark created vs time for an alloy steel sample during a 75 minutes ball on disc test.
Pin On Disc Wear Testing 3D Image
Figure shows the friction data w.r.t the time stamp. It also points out to when the surface images were taken during the test. It is clear from the data that test stops and starts from same location. Figure shows the 3D images of surface wear vs time/test step. The friction, wear and image correlation are very powerful information all generated automatically.
Pin on disc Graph Compare


MFT5000 rotary module is an excellent option to run tests in pin/ball on disc mode. The tool can be operated in dry or lubricated mode with options to do the tests at high temperatures. High loads up to 5000N can be applied to achieve high contact pressure for suitable samples. The anti-splash containers allow to run these tests under liquid media. The inline profilometer makes this tester a very powerful tool in the hand of the researcher or QC engineer. 

● Wide loads mN to 10000N can be applied to achieve desired contact pressure.

● The inline profilometer allows to quantify surface change vs time.

● The test can run from -120C to 1000C.

● The tool can be operated in dry or lubricated condition.

● The high speed anti splash containers allow to run these tests under liquid media.

All the above makes this tester a very powerful tool in the hand of the researcher or QC engineer. Please contact us at info@rtec-instruments.com or call us at +1 (408)708-9226 for more information.


ASTM G99, Pin on Disk tribometer, Ball on disk tribometer, pin on disc friction test, pin on disk wear testing machine, pin on disk wear tester, pin on disk friction test

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