WEAR is one of the major ways by which a material part ceases to be useful, others are corrosion, obsolescence and breakage. It is the consequence of relative motion and in industrial plant and equipment it has always been accepted as inevitable that it should lead to heavy expenditure for maintenance and replacement. Historically, wear is a well established fact, yet our knowledge of the technology is extremely limited. It has become a way of life that we compensate for wear when it no longer can be tolerated, yet need this be so? This article examines the problem, and primarily from the unlubricated point of view, describes the various types of wear and the way material selection or modification can be used to limit wear.
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