It is shown that the severe-mild wear transition and the wear rate of 0.45 percent carbon steel pair in dry friction is greatly influenced by the change of normal stiffness from 1 N/mm to 586000 N/mm in loading system. The wear rate increases with the increase of normal stiffness and the severe wear state is predominant under larger normal stiffness at low sliding velocity (0.25 m/s). However, the wear rate decreases with the increase of normal stiffness and the mild wear state is predominant under larger normal stiffness at high sliding velocity (1.57 m/s). This complicated wear behavior is explained by analyzing the effect of normal stiffness and normal load on wear rate-sliding velocity curve. It suggests that the increase of normal stiffness should physically mean the increase of normal load.

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