The paper presents a brief review of concepts on wear of machine components with two aspects of the problem being considered: (a) models of wear and the relevant calculation relationships, (b) physics involved in the process. The available classifications of the types of wear are presented and their analysis made proceeding from up-to-date knowledge of mechanisms occurring in damage of a rubbing surface. The character of the interaction of solids is assumed to have a dual nature (adhesion and scratching). A relation between the types of the interaction varies depending upon the conditions in the contact, which lead to the different types of wear. In practice, however, the wear particles are formed only as a result of the multiple interaction, i.e. the wear has a fatigue nature. The forming of the wear particles under the single interaction (in the case of a deep scratch or a strong adhesive joint) does not occur in real conditions.

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