Pin on Disk Tribometer

Inline Integrated Profilometer to look at surface with nm resolution

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Pin on Disk Tribometer

Rotary Drive Overview

Rotary module is used for several tribology wear tests. Common tests are pin on disk , ball on disk tribometer tests. The rotary drive module is mounted on top of XY stage that allows to create custom motions on MFT platform. The rotary module comes with several add ons. This note covers pin on disk tester with inline profilometer.

Module Features
● 0.001 - 10,000 RPM
● Rotary, Cycle Motions
● Dry and Liquid tests
● -120 to 1000C Test Chambers


Rtec Universal Tribometer MFT-5000

The state of the art Rtec Multi Function tribometer Mft-5000 is globally regarded as the most versatile and technologically advanced tribometer. The patented integrated 3D profilometer allows to analyze surface change vs time makes it usable for many application across various industries. In addition it comes with patented force sensors (piezo, capacitive & strain gauge) with ultra low resolution, highest speeds, stable torque and widest load range than any other commercially available tribometer.

MFT-5000 verstatily allows to mount several test/application specific modules on same platform. Please visit following links to learn more - Pin on Plate Module, Product page, Main Applications

Pin on Disk, Ball on Disk Tribology Test

Ball or Pin on disc friction and wear test 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 pin on disk wear testing machine presses stationary pin or ball 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 disk tribometer wear testing machine set up is ideal for characterizing tribology properties of alloys, ceramics, polymers, metals, coatings, solid lubricants etc. 

Automatic Inline Imaging – Roughness, Wear, volume vs time


Ball 3D Image

Figure shows the ball wear mark after the test on ball on disk wear tester.

Graph below 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

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


MFT-5000 rotary module is an excellent option to run tribological tests for wear resistance, friction measurements, volume loss measurement tests in pin , ball, disc on disc mode. The surfaces in relative motion can be operated in dry or lubricated mode with options to do the tests across wide range of temperatures, load or speed.The inline profilometer makes this tester a very powerful tool in the hand of the researcher or QC engineer.

● Wide loads micro N 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 1200C.

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

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

References, Keywords

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,  pin on disc friction test, pin on disc wear testing machine, pin on disc wear tester, pin on disc apparatus. 

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