The thermoelectric signal from an Alumel pin sliding over a steel surface was recorded and analyzed. The load, speed and surface topography were varied and correlations were attempted of the voltage signal against several parameters. The average temperature of the whole contact was found to agree fairly consistently with the surface temperature rise models of Blok and Archard. Of the available methods of signal analysis, the power spectrum of the voltage signal was found to give the best understanding of the micro-mechanisms of sliding, particularly when compared against the power spectra of profilometer signals. The largest component of the temperature signal was found to be caused by wavelength components equal to the extent of the contact. The correlation distance β* of the test surfaces was much less than the contact extent and contributed negligibly to the voltage signal rise.

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