It was previously shown that the size of loose wear particles formed during the sliding of two materials is equal to 60,000 Wab/P, where Wab is the surface energy of adhesion and p the penetration hardness. Experimental results are presented which show that the experimental particle sizes obtained with a few materials do indeed obey the theoretical relationship, and that the particle size is, as predicted, almost independent of such external variables as speed, time, geometry, and load, provided the load is not too great. Indeed, if particles of the wrong size are fed into the system, then they tend to be broken down or built up until the correct size is reached. However, changes of atmosphere and the use of lubricants, which alter the energy of adhesion, do have a marked influence on wear-particle size, and this fact suggests a possible use of wear-particle measurement to rate boundary lubricants. Other surface interaction phenomena which are governed by the W/p ratio are discussed, and it is suggested that the surface roughness generated during sliding is a function of this ratio.

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