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Pinning Down the Pin-on Disk Tribometer

The Pin-on Disk Tribometer is a test instrument designed for precise and repeatable tribological characterization of bulk materials, coatings and lubricants. The Pin-on-disk tribometer is used by labs all over the world for their material bench-marking and materials development needs. This test method is a laboratory procedure for discerning the wear of materials during sliding using a pin-on-disk setup. Materials are tested in dyads under typically non-abrasive conditions.

For the pin-on-disk wear test, dual specimens are needed. One, a pin or ball that is positioned perpendicular to the other, usually a flat circular disk. The tester causes the static pin or ball to press against the circling disk at a predetermined force and speed. During the test, COF, friction, wear and various other parameters are measured and recorded.

A tribometer is an instrument that measures tribological qualities, such as coefficient of friction, friction force and wear volume between two surfaces in contact. The pin-on-disk is a specific type of tribotester, which is the umbrella name given to a machine or device used to perform tests and simulations of wear, friction and lubrication which are the subject of the study of tribology. Tribotesters are extremely specific in their function and the pin-on-disk friction and wear tester is no exception.

The pin-on-disk tester is one of the most recognizable and frequently-used tribotesters. It consists of a stationary pin which, under the influence of dead weight, rests on a rotating disk. Furthermore, this type of tester can be put in a climate chamber, to provide a controlled environment which is especially important when testing friction and wear of some plastics and ceramic materials.
The pin can have any shape to simulate a specific contact; however, spherical tips are often used to simplify the contact geometry. The coefficient of friction is calculated by the ratio of the frictional force to the loading force on the pin. This type of test has shown to be useful in offering a simple wear and friction test for low-friction coatings such as diamond-like carbon coatings on valve train components in internal combustion engines.

The pin-on-disk tribometer is a compact, table-top instrument, which can be installed on any stable table. It is a very user-friendly and intuitive instrument which usually has an integrated computer control and its own software component. The main features of pin-on-disk tribometers are as follows:
• Accurately calibrated wear and friction measurements
• Stable contact point
• No parasitic friction
• Variable sample shapes and sizes
• Automatic switch off (track length and friction coefficient)
• Test in controlled humidity and liquids
• Testing procedures comply with ASTM G99 and DIN 50324
• Can perform a cross-section profile of the wear track by creating a pause during the test without alteration of the experimental setup.
• The possibility to measure a 10 N friction force in a basic test and enables characterization of not only low-friction coatings, but also higher friction materials such as traditional systems like alumina-steel or steel-steel minus any restrictions

Due to the many beneficial points detailed above, it is no wonder that the pin-on-disk tester is one of the best-known and most-prevalent tribotesters in existence. It is a vital instrument for anyone in an industry where accurate and repeatable tribological classification of bulk materials, coatings, liquids or lubricants is required. The pin-on-disk tester is used by hundreds of labs worldwide to meet their standards of excellence and materials development needs with reliability, economy, efficiency and ease. Click here for more information on the Pin-On-Disc Tester and to request a quote.