Wear as a product failure mechanism – Overview and case studies

Gagg, Colin. R. and Lewis, Peter. R. (2007). Wear as a product failure mechanism – Overview and case studies. Engineering Failure Analysis, 14(8) pp. 1618–1640.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engfailanal.2006.11.064


Tribology is the technology of interactive surfaces in relative motion, incorporating the science of friction, lubrication and wear. The subject is a recognised and researched area in its own right, being of interest to both the academic and engineering community. However, the attention of the forensic (or failure) investigator will often focus on one area, that of any resultant wear processes at play during the service lifetime of a system, device or component. When engaged on a product failure investigation, it will be implicit in any instruction to establish whether or not the rate of wear was acceptable, reflected good engineering practice or that the device had simply reached the end of its useful service lifetime. To this end, a brief review of salient points relating to wear as a product failure mechanism is presented and illustrated by numerous studies from the authors' forensic case books.

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