The reliability and durability of gear components are critical issues especially in advanced power transmissions subject to increased power density and extreme operating conditions. In general the three main tribological failure modes present in gear tooth contact are: wear, contact fatigue/pitting, and scuffing. The present work investigates the influence of surface texturing in the form of micro-scale dimples as a method to enhance scuff resistance. Flat H13 steel samples were micro-dimpled using a laser surface texturing process. For scuffing and wear evaluation the flats were tested in point contact under lubricated linear reciprocating sliding. A threefold increase in scuffing resistance was observed for textured surfaces over comparable non-textured flats, however, for prolonged operation at high loads an increase wear rate of the counterface is observed. For gear application the design and location of surface texture requires careful consideration to balance scuffing resistance with potential influence to increased wear and fatigue pitting.

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