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Contribution of roughness parameters in the scuffing performance of metallic surfaces

Lukasz Wojciechowski (Institute of Machines and Motor Vehicles, Poznan University of Technology, Poznan, Poland)
Radomir Majchrowski (Division of Metrology & Measurement Systems, Poznan University of Technology, Poznan, Poland)
Thomas G. Mathia (Tribology & Dynamic System Laboratory (LTDS), École Centrale de Lyon, Ecully, France)

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology

ISSN: 0036-8792

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




Boundary lubrication cannot provide long-term protection against scuffing. Therefore, it is fundamental to recognise the breaking point of the boundary layer that activates scuffing. Based on this assumption, three-dimensional (3D) morphologies of surfaces were characterised, and the fundamental conditions of the scuffing process were investigated to identify the transition from boundary lubrication conditions to catastrophic wear.


A series of systematic tribological double-blind experiments were carried out using a poorly lubricated cylinder/plane interface to model the tribological inverse problem in a boundary lubrication situation. Areal morphological analysis was performed, with the help of an optical interferometer, on a millimetric area corresponding to the contact surface during experimental tribological investigations. The statistical correlation between scuffing and the selected morphological parameters was evaluated. This evaluation study consisted of determining the linear, logarithmic, exponential, polynomial (of degree 2) or power dependency between time to scuffing and morphological parameters.


A clear, statistically confirmed relationship was observed between selected morphological parameters of the surface (Spd, Sha, Str, Sz) and its scuffing performance.


3D morphological parameters that best specified the technological scuffing performance of metallic surfaces were selected and proposed.



The authors thank F. Blateyron (Digital Surf) for help in using Mountains® Software.


Wojciechowski, L., Majchrowski, R. and Mathia, T.G. (2017), "Contribution of roughness parameters in the scuffing performance of metallic surfaces", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 69 No. 4, pp. 507-515.



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