Experimental results are presented on the wear behavior of misaligned splines operating without lubrication and with either grease or oil lubrication, in various environmental atmospheres. On the basis of the observed results, it appears that protection from rapid wear stems from conditions which inhibit oxidation of the stressed metal surfaces. This inhibition process can be obtained by both physical and chemical means. The physical means include exclusion of oxygen from the contact region, and the chemical means include the use of lubricant additives. It was found that once the lubricant loses its ability to inhibit the oxidation reactions, continuous moderate wear results from oxidative attack, even if enough liquid lubricant is present to allow the debris particles to move away from the stressed surfaces. With grease lubricant, the abrasive wear debris is retained in the contact region, thus continued rapid wear ensues after the lubricant loses its ability to inhibit oxidation reactions.

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