Tribology literature shows considerable scatter in the wear rate of materials obtained by pin-on-disc type of studies. The general consensus thus far has been that this scatter is due to variations in the material properties and experimental conditions used by different investigators. However, the present paper shows that the scatter can also arise from the way wear is quantified by popular methods such as by m3/m, m3/Nm and so on. Therefore, an improved method of wear quantification indicated as “wear index” (WI) a non-dimensional quantity, has been proposed and it is expected to reduce scatter that arises from the way wear is quantified. Evidence for the improvement has been provided from the results obtained from the experiments reported in this paper as well as those reported by different researchers. Besides reducing scatter, WI is expected to improve correlation in the wear values between laboratory benchmark tests and actual industrial applications, and also that between different investigators. Hence WI is expected to enhance the general understanding on tribology. [S0742-4787(00)01103-6]

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