The work is an addition to the numerous investigations that establish temperature rise in rubbing as a powerful, yet practical, diagnostic parameter for tribosystems. For effective condition monitoring, it is imperative to progress from diagnostics to prognostics. The discusser argues that a pathway toward prognosis of wear catastrophes is to consider the physical interpretation of the temperature rise rather than its numerical value. To that end, the thermodynamic definition of temperature being an indicator of the intensity of thermal energy present within a material volume of interest is beneficial. Accordingly, the temperature to be utilized in expressing material properties is indicative of the level of thermal energy necessary to initiate tribofailure (i.e., expressing tribofailure thresholds in terms of a “critical energy density”).

The energy density approach is rooted in tribology literature especially within the works of tribologists within the former European Eastern block [1...

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