Tribometers - A Guide to Their Applications

Ducom Air Jet Erosion Tester (Figure 1) is used to measure the erosion weight loss of materials and to investigate the erosion resistant behavior of components used in solar powered plants.

Ducom Air Jet Erosion Tester.

Ducom Air Jet Erosion Tester.

Figure 1. New design (A) and cut section (B) of Ducom Air Jet Erosion Tester.

Solid particles from the feeder unit and compressed air from the pneumatic air control unit are mixed in the mixing chamber. Compressed air carries the solid particles in the steel tube and exits via the nozzle fitted to the tube. The difference in the diameter of the nozzle (smaller) and the tube (larger) produces an energy flux of particles impacting the specimen. The tube length is sufficient to avoid any turbulence in the flow. The impact velocity of the particles is varied by changing the pressure of the compressed air carrying the solid particles. The speed of the motor in the powder feeder unit controls the discharge rate of the particles.

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Ducom Scratch Tester

The scratch-resistant behavior of materials is determined using Ducom Scratch Tester (Figure 2). The tester is capable of measuring the friction force, normal force, acoustic emission and penetration during accurate control of scratch length and speed.

Ducom Scratch Tester

Ducom Scratch Tester

Figure 2. Description of a Ducom Scratch Tester (A) and an image of single scratch by a diamond indenter of 0.2 mm in diameter (B).

The Ducom Scratch Tester includes an indenter that is mounted on the z-axis of the tester. The test sample is placed below on an x-axis stage. The indenter is pressed against the test sample with the desired force (FN) and is moved across its surface. The load can follow a step or ramp profile or can be kept constant across the scratch length. The normal force is servo-controlled so that it can be precisely maintained at the correct value despite the surface waviness. The friction force (Ft) is measured during the test.

There may be an increase in the acoustic emission level (Ae) due to the damage caused to the surface, especially in the case of brittle fracture. A magnified image of the entire scratch is captured to facilitate visual inspection of the failure. The change in the surface profile following the scratch is measured to record the depth (z) of the scratch. To avoid any damage to the surface, profiles before and after scratch are recorded at sufficiently low FN. It is possible to program the movement of the stylus for single scratch or multiple scratches.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Ducom.

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