Tribometers are used to examine the friction and wear behaviour of material pairs. A test body (such as a steel ball) is moved with a defined normal force, linearly oscillating or along a circular or spiral path on the specimen (pin-on-disc). The friction coefficient (frictional force/normal force) is measured during the entire test duration. Wear is determined through subsequent profilometric measurement of the wear mark.
Tribological investigations are used to determine low-friction and wear-resistant material pairs for technical movement systems. Fraunhofer IST has special high-load tribometers with normal forces in the range of 10 to 1000 N. A roller tribometer is also available. It simulates the tribological loads of two cylinders rolling against each other (rolling friction/rolling wear). Studies using fluid lubricants are possible as well.