High-Performance Lubricant Tester for Labs

The Four Ball Tester available from Ducom has been developed to determine the extreme pressure (EP), wear preventive (WP), fatigue, and frictional properties of lubricants.

The instrument is equipped with four balls, one at the top and three at the bottom. The three balls at the bottom are held securely within a ball pot that includes the lubricant under test, and they are pressed against the top ball. The top ball is made to rotate at the preferred speed while the three balls at the bottom are pressed against it.

The properties of the lubricant under test are determined by quantifying the diameter of the wear scar on the balls following the test and assessing the load at which the lubricant fails and the four balls weld together.

Applications 

  • Benchmarking of lubricants against competitors available in the market
  • Compliance with the legacy data in the lab
  • Comparing and predicting the degradation of lubricant quality through the comparison of fresh and used oil
  • Quantifying and comparing the WP/EP of nanoparticles extracted from metal oxide, carbon, nanocomposites, and sulfides
  • Stribeck curves for mapping lubrication regimes of additives and viscosity modifiers in oils
  • Lubrication potential of vegetable/biodegradable oils in comparison with synthetic base/mineral oils

Advantages

  • The single unit can be used for both WP and EP testing of lubricants in compliance with DIN, IP, and ASTM test standards.
  • The compact tabletop device requires the same amount of space needed for a coffee machine.
  • Design features in the FBT3 can reduce the required maintenance and servicing cost compared to any other four ball tester currently available on the market.
  • Since the friction measurement unit is independent of the normal loading unit, friction is just a response from the lubricant behavior at the interface.
  • Loading from 100 to 10000 N is computer-controlled and applied using the compressed air technology (6 bar pressure).
  • Precision in load and speed controls. Fluctuation of load is within 0.2 % of the applied load, that is +/- 20 N at an applied load of 10000 N.
  • The Ducom Image Acquisition System has been engineered to enhance the convenience of users, as the conventional trial and error method to identify the wear scar on the ball is outdated. The system images the wear scar on the ball in its natural state and recovers the time lost in the trial/error method.
  • Since 95% of the testing process is automated, up to 15 EP tests can be performed in an hour.
  • WinDucom software has an integrated, foolproof user interface architecture, which implies that a test can be started based on ASTM/DIN/IP standards with just five clicks.
  • Mooha 4.0: Tribometer includes industry 4.0 technology that employs an augmented reality (AR)-based app for use on their mobile phone. Users can observe the friction data, machine health, and data history in real time in 3D format from anywhere in the world. All the data produced from the sensors is centralized along with big data analytics in the cloud storage. This data bank can be accessed from remote locations through the performance analytics-based desktop dashboard. The data storage and security are ISO 20546 compliant.

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