Abrasive wear – definition, prevention

Abrasion is one of four different wear mechanisms. In addition to abrasive wear, these are ADHESION, surface breakdown and tribo-oxidation. Other terms for abrasion are corrugation or erosive wear.

What is abrasive wear?

Abrasive wear is the loss of material by a rubbing or abrasive impact. It is usually caused by foreign particles caught between the running elements. This distinguishes it from adhesion, in case of which cold welding occurs without impact on foreign bodies. In addition to foreign bodies, asperities on the running partners themselves can also be responsible for abrasion. Abrasive damages can be prevented by suitable filter techniques, for instance. In many applications, however, this is only possible to a limited extent or impossible altogether. Due to product design, foreign materials are partially quite difficult to avoid, e.g., combustion residues in engines. If foreign materials cannot be completely excluded, increasing abrasion resistance of the running elements is a suitable method that is used to reduce wear. Abrasive damage is a problem in many areas of applications. It is the cause of gear damage, damage to pump components and pipes, engine parts and joint components.

Increasing abrasion resistance

To prevent abrasion, attempts are also made to increase the hardness and strength of the rubbing partners. This is then called increased abrasion resistance. To this end, the hardening of stainless steel can be a solution. In many applications, such as pipelines in the food industry, it is thus also necessary for stainless steel to be resistant to corrosion to meet high demands. Conventional methods cannot achieve this. It is true that they increase abrasion resistance, but only by simultaneously becoming less resistant to corrosion. This is where the BORINOX® PROCESS FOR STAINLESS STEEL HARDENING is applied. It produces a surface which is up to 5 times harder, with a significant increase in abrasion resistance to foreign bodies. Nevertheless, the processed steel retains properties urgently required in many applications, such as corrosion resistance. BORINOX® is thus particularly suitable for hardening stainless steel or rustproof steel.

Another way to protect your materials from wear is our BOROCOAT® DIFFUSION PROCESS.