Paper: A state-of-the-art review on the effects of particulate contamination and related topics in machine-element contacts.
Authors: George K. Nikas
Where: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology, 2010, 224(J5), 453-479. Available from the publisher.
of machine-element contacts by solid particles is a serious problem in
all industrial sectors. Particles ranging in size from nanometres to
micrometres are responsible for increased wear and even catastrophic
failures of bearings, gears, seals, mechanisms and machines. The wear
such contaminants can cause is abrasion, surface indentation, flaking,
and even scuffing, depending on the operating conditions and the
mechanical properties of the particulates.
The literature on the effects of debris
particles in mechanism and machine reliability is voluminous. There are
theoretical studies covering the entrainment, entrapment and passage of
particles through concentrated contacts, experimental and theoretical
studies on the wear caused in such incidents, studies on the effects of
air and lubricant filtration on machine life, and other related research
work. The goal is to determine the consequences of having debris
particles in a mechanical system and to develop methods to prevent the
presence of particles in order to maximise the life expectancy of the
This article is a review of the related research available in the literature. It covers more than 150 years of research, with the largest volume of work concentrated in the last 30 years. The review discusses over 230 of the most important publications and aims to be a definitive point of reference for the work done up to the year 2009.
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