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image: computer image of wear pattern

This image represents the surface of a cam follower face and shows the wear pattern resulting from normal wear as the follower rotates due to contact with the cam lobe.

image: specialized machinery used to characterize wear

A Bruker non-contact, white light optical interferometer is used to characterize wear on 3-D structures such as pre- and post-test engine components.

Capability PPT

image: cover of Engine Development for Reduced Friction Capabilities brochure

A fully functional tribology laboratory with unique capabilities supports client-funded and internal research programs with innovative ideas, technology and equipment. A facility with carefully controlled environmental conditions houses a variety of test benches. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has the tools required for comprehensive tribological studies. These include equipment for:

Friction and wear of materials and geometries of engine components and subsystems are characterized using:

  • Single-cylinder research engines that allow oil changes and oil sampling from the liner or piston assembly while the engine is running
    • 0.5 liter gasoline
    • 0.3 liter diesel
  • Engine component rigs
    • Valve train friction
    • Motored piston/liner friction
    • Journal bearing friction
  • Bench rigs selected to maximize the range of contact geometries and materials
    • Plint TE-77 (ball on plate, cylinder on plate or ring on liner)
    • MTM II (including oscillation and pin-on-disk option)
    • Falex Block-on-Ring

SwRI has experience in many areas of tribology, including:

  • Full-scale and laboratory wear-test design
  • Mathematical model development
  • Research
  • Rheology
  • Wear mechanisms

Related Terminology

tribology  •  tribometers  •  tribological  •  rheology  •  friction  •  friction measurement  •  wear  •  single cylinder research engine  •  lubricant  •  lubrication  •  metrology  •  materials   •  Plint TE-77  •  MTM II  •  block-on-ring  •  falex

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.