Scratches in the range of 1000 nm deep were produced on the surfaces of two polymers using diamond tip indenter to study the material deformation and wear debris generation characteristics. Our results show that the process of wear debris generation depends upon the manner in which scratches are produced on the surface. Single track scratches do not produce wear debris despite several passes of the indenter tip whereas intersecting scratches accelerate the wear debris generation process. The results indicate that the material near the four corners of intersecting scratches experience extremely high strain leading to extrusion and eventual breakage from the bulk of the polymer forming a debris particle.

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