In the elementary process of adhesive wear, wear elements, which are the elemental debris of wear particles, are generated at junctions of asperities, and subsequently grow into transfer particles between sliding surfaces through a mutual transfer and growth process. To elucidate the mechanism of adhesive wear and to establish a wear equation, it is necessary to investigate the characteristics of wear elements and transfer particles in more detail. In this study, changes in the numbers and shapes of wear elements for various metals were examined by means of scanning probe microscopy. In addition, the relationship between the numbers of wear elements and the adhesion forces, determined by friction force microscopy and force-curve measurements, was examined to evaluate the probability of generation of wear elements. The findings on the elementary processes of adhesive wear obtained from this study should be useful in establishing a future theory of wear.
2016 by Japanese Society of Tribologists