Vacuum Tribometer

Vacuum tribology across a wide load and speed range. Cryogenic cooling to high temperature test on the same platform.

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Main Features:

  • 10-7 Torr vacuum
  • mN to 200 N friction and down force
  • Cryogenic cooling from -120°C
  • Versatile to mount several kinds of samples
  • Up to 400°C (1000°C) temperature range

Why Vacuum tribology – Advancement in space, semiconductor, aerospace, and thin films have resulted in several studies focused on material and coating properties under vacuum. Friction, wear, and adhesion of surfaces under vacuum are very different compared to ambient conditions. To develop next generation vacuum compatible components, and materials it is necessary to test them under conditions close to real applications.

Rtec Vacuum Tribometer comes with a wide force, speed, and test temperature range for analysis of materials properties under vacuum conditions. Unique design with patented force sensors, creates data with high accuracy and repeatability. The open face design provides a complete view of the chamber while changing samples.  Run several common friction lubrication and wear tests, such as pin-on-disc, ball-on-disc, and linear reciprocating tests on the same platform. The vacuum chamber comes in various standard configurations. Please contact us to discuss your application.

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The vacuum tribometer has several key design features that makes it the only commercial available tribometer to run a wide test conditions on same platform.
Patented force sensor

Capacitive sensors work across a high vacuum range with no drifts or degassing. 

Cryogenic to high Temperature control

Close loop temperature controller. Up to -120°C nitrogen cryogenic cooling chamber. Up to 400°C heating chamber.

Close loop force control

Real-time  close loop force control during the test.  This allows to create automatic friction vs load and speed curves.

Quick to reach vacuum

Reach 10-6 torr vacuum in 45 minutes. Vacuum tribometer has integrated rough and turbo molecular pumps

Rotary and Linear modes

Rotary speed up to 2500 RPM, Linear speed up to 6 mm/s. Additional  Piezo drives for precise motions.

Integrated In-line Imaging

Image test surface with nm resolution without taking sample out of the chamber. Integrated 3D profilometer (Optional raman microscope) to look at surface change during the test. Possible with vacuum chamber on MFT-5000, room temperature, and up to 10 N load configuration only.

Many Configurations Are Possible

Rtec vacuum tribometer comes in several application specific configurations.

    Test Data

    Vacuum tribometer test data on ball on disk test setup
    Data shows coefficient of friction results from vacuum tribometer. The surface treatments were done on two samples.
    Sample 1 – the plasma oxide treatment.
    Sample 2 – silicon oxide treatment.

    • 10 N force
    • Velocity 4 mm/s
    • Acceleration at 0.1 mm/s2.
    • 10-6 Torr

    Choose Your Model

    Multi Function vs Single Function Platform Choice

    Solution To

    The vacuum tribometer is used extensively across a wide range of industries and applications:

    • Space
    • Aerospace
    • Semiconductor
    • Quantum Computing
    Universal tribometer MFT-5000 by Rtec Instruments

    The MFT-5000 Has More To Offer

    Take a closer look at the Multi Function Tribometer.

    Want to learn more?

    Get in touch, and request a demo.