The NASA Ball on Plate Tribometer was built for the investigation of boundary lubricated rolling. Its contact conditions are easily calculated, and can be adjusted to match a range of real hearing applications for stress, surface velocity, pivot, and contact severity. The rig operates under high vacuum at room temperature. Lubricant charge and specimen preparation are well-controlled and well-characterized. Mass spectroscopy instrumentation allows an indication of lubricant degradation during rolling. Other tribological quantities immediately available are contact resistance, friction coefficient, transverse creep, and orbit velocity deficit. Simple specimens allow post-test surface analysis such as FTIR, XPS, microscopy, and profilometry. Here we describe the Tribometer and discuss representative results obtained with liquid, solid, and no lubricant.

1.
Ames, J. S., and Murnaghan, F. D., 1929, An Introduction to Mathematical Physics, Dover (Ginn), New York, a pp. 209, b pp. 218.
2.
Johnson
K. L.
,
1959
, “
The Influence of Elastic Deformation upon the Motion of a Ball Rolling Between Two Surfaces
,”
Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng.
, Vol.
173
, No.
34
, pp.
795
810
.
3.
Johnson, K. L., 1985, Contact Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 242–283.
4.
Kingsbury
E.
,
1984
, “
Pivoting and Slip in an Angular Contact Bearing
,”
ASLE Trans.
, Vol.
27
, pp.
259
262
.
5.
Kingsbury
E.
,
1985
, “
First Order Ball Bearing Kinematics
,”
ASLE Trans.
, Vol.
28
, pp.
239
244
.
6.
Pepper, S. V., Kingsbury, E., and Ebihara, B., 1996, “A Rolling Element Tribometer for the Study of Liquid Lubricants in Vacuum,” NASA TP-3629.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.