Industrial Consultancy & Sponsored Research (IC&SR) , IIT Madras

Dynamic Load Sliding Contact Tribometer and Method to Simulate Wear therewith

Technology Category/ Market

Technology: Simulate accelerated wear of mating steel components;

Industry: Manufacturing, Instruments;

Applications: : Manufacturing, Instruments;

Market: The global Tribometer market is projected to $1.48B by 2030, at a CAGR of 4.5% during 2023-2030.

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Problem Statement

  • Appearance of white etching area followed by white etching cracks (WECs) formation is observed as a dominant mode of premature failure in rolling element bearings of wind turbine gearboxes, automobiles, vertical roller mills of cement industry and other components.
  • In this instance a few patent literature discussed a few remedies however said prior arts includes the limitations as lack of cyclic loading to reproduce service conditions of bearings, large number of contact cycles required (>10 million cycles), difficulty in determining WEC in a large specimen.
  • Hence, there is a need to mitigate above challenges & provide efficient solution.


  • Present Patent discloses a dynamic load sliding contact tribometer configured to simulate accelerated wear of mating steel components.
  • Further the said dynamic load sliding contact tribometer comprises a motor-powered rotatable disc sample configured to operate at a predetermined speed of rotation; a pin holder configured to hold a pin sample in sliding contact with the disc sample; & a cyclic load generator configured to transfer a cyclic load to the pin sample via a lever arm & generate a contact pressure.
  • The lever arm having a first end & a second end, & pivoted at a fixed hinge located therebetween, the first end connected to the pin holder & the second end connected to the cyclic load generator.
  • Further, the wear of the disc or the pin sample is adjustable by varying a maximum pressure (upto 4GPa) generated at the cyclic load generator. The load cycling is variable in the range of 1- 60Hz.
  • Further, tribometer comprises a linear variable differential transducer configured to measure combined wear depth of the pin with reference to the disc sample.
  • A method of simulating accelerated wear on a steel sample due to Hydrogen –induced white etching area formation using a pin-on-disc tribometer shown in flowchart.

Key Features/ Value Proposition

Technical Perspective:

  • The pin and the disc samples are of bearing steel and accelerated wear is indicated by cementite phase dissolution & formation of white etching area (WEA) in the subsurface of the pin sample or the disc sample.
  • The WEA is obtained in a test duration of 40 h or less.
  • The accelerated wear is obtained in 3×105 contact cycles or less.
  • The sample includes a gear, roller bearing element, or a ball bearing element.

User Perspective:

  • Applicable in Instrumentation Industries, Manufacturing Industries.( Refer result shown in Table.
  • Test rig used in the various studies and the typical contact cycle to create WEA/WECs as given in Table.

Questions about this Technology?

Contact for Licensing

Research Lab

Prof. Ramkumar P, Advanced Tribology Research Lab

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Intellectual Property

  • IITM IDF Ref.:1568

  • IN Patent No. 386008

Technology Readiness Level

TRL- 4

Technology validated in Lab

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