The relationship between contact temperature, friction coefficient, and wear rate was studied here for the case of dry sliding between pin and flat in small amplitude oscillatory motion. In the first part of the study, infrared radiation pyrometry and finite element analysis techniques were used to measure and model surface temperatures in an oscillatory contact. Good agreement was achieved between model predictions and experimental measurements. The model was then applied to an oscillating contact between an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene pin and a rough stainless steel flat. Temperature predictions for that case were correlated with measured friction coefficients and wear rates. It was found that the polyethylene wear rate decreased as the contact temperature increased. The uniformity and thickness of the transfer films which formed on both counterface and polymer pin were found to be affected by contact temperature. Transfer film behavior was deemed responsible for the influence of contact temperature on wear rate.

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