Test Standards for Tribology in Mining

Tribology in Mining

An example of friction and wear process during extraction, materials handling, and material processing is shown in Figure 1. Damages to the materials used for drilling or digging are a result of impact, erosive and abrasive contact with the earth surface. Materials used in crushers are faced with severe impact and abrasive contact with the large chunks of minerals. Mining trucks with lubricated engine components and other power transmission systems, used for materials handling are subjected to lubricated wear. In cases, where the size of the particles is in few mm, the transportation of minerals is made through the slurry pipelines. During this process the damage of pipeline materials is caused by slurry abrasion. Grinding balls that are used in the ball milling process to generate fine particles are exposed to impact, erosion and abrasion contact with the minerals.
Our goal is to enable the scientific efforts focused on the development of low wear and friction materials, to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission in mining.

Tribometers for the mining industry

Ducom Air Jet Erosion Tester is used to determine the erosion weight loss of materials and investigate erosion resistant behaviour of components used in energy and transportation industries.


  • ASTM G76-95: Conducting Erosion Tests by Solid Particle Impingement Using Gas Jets.

Ducom Abrasion Tester allows users to test materials for their dry and slurry abrasion resistance properties in accordance with applicable standards, namely ASTM G65, G105 and B611. This system is suitable for ranking materials used in mining.


  • ASTM B611-85: Standard Test Method for Abrasive Wear Resistance of Cemented Carbides
  • ASTM G65-00: Measuring Abrasion Using the Dry Sand/Rubber Wheel Apparatus
  • ASTM G105-89: Standard Test Method for Conducting Wet Sand/Rubber Wheel Abrasion Tests

Ducom Rotary Tribometer is a workhorse of several tribology labs for real time measurement and analysis of friction and wear behaviour of materials in the form of ball/pin and disk specimens. It is used to generate crushing abrasion friction and wear in dry or slurry medium. In this tribometer the load, impact cycles, speed, temperature and motion are few important variables that can be controlled and measured.


  • ASTM G99-95A: Standard Test Method for Wear Testing with a Pin-on-Disk Apparatus.
Figure 1.
Dominating friction and wear mechanisms during extraction, materials handling and material processing in mining.

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For more information about tribology in mining, check out our presentation here.

Test standards for the mining industry

Load (N)20013010222
Velocity / speed100 RPM245 RPM30 m/s (particle velocity)0.1 m/s245 RPM (wheel speed)
Flow rate (g/min)-300 to 4002 (feed rate)--
Angle (deg)--90--
Test duration1000, (Total number of revolutions)-10 min (to achieve steady state conditions). Longer times are permissible so long as the final erosion crater is no deeper than 1 mm1000 m, (Total sliding distance)-
Wheel materialAnnealed AISI 1020 steelSteel disk with an outer layer of chlorobutyl rubber molded to its periphery--Steel disk with an outer layer of neoprene rubber
Wheel size (mm)Ø 169 (max), Ø 165 (min), Width: 12.7Ø 228.6--Ø 178, Width: 13
Specimen material-AISI D-2 Tool Steel, AISI H-13 Tool Steel, AISI 4340 SteelRectangular stripSuggested specimen: A1. Steel ball (100 Cr6) (AISI 52100), A2. Steel disc (100 Cr6) (AISI 52100), B1. Alumina ball, B2. Alumina discAny metallic material form for abrasion testing by this method
Specimen size (mm)Thickness: 5 (min), Large enough25 x 76 (LxW), 3.2 to 12.7 (thick), (rectangular shape)10 x 30 x 2 (L x W), Thickness: 2Upper specimen: Ø 2 to 10, Bottom specimen: Ø 30 to 100, 2 to 10 (thick)57.2 x25.4 (L x W), 6.4 to 15.9 mm (thick)
Abrasive1 cm³ water/4 g of Aluminium oxide grit (30 mesh)Rounded quartz grain sand as typified by AFS 50/70 Test SandAbrasive material: 50 μm angular A12O3-0.940 kg of deionized water and 1.500 kg of a rounded grain quartz sand as typified by AFS 50/70 Test Sand
RemarksCurved vanes on the wheel to mix the slurry and propel it towards the specimenThe moisture content (abrasive) shall not exceed 0.5 weight %A suitable reference material would be Type 1020 steelThis test method may be applied to a variety of materials. The only requirement is that specimens having the specified dimensions can be prepared and that they will withstand the stresses imposed during the test without failure or excessive flexure-

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