Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Filip, Peter

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Jacob Boone, for the Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, presented on 10/28/2010, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND EVALUTAION OF UNIVERSAL FRICTION TESTER MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Peter Filip Many different types of friction testers are currently available for testing specific frictional applications. Of these machines very few have versatility, and of the ones that do, the amount of versatility is limited. Since friction is a property specific to each system, all operating parameters need to match the specific application as closely as possible in order to obtain accurate data. This requires many research facilities to have several specific friction testers in order to provide the necessary testing capabilities. The goal of this project was to design a Universal Friction Tester (UFT) with enough versatility to reproduce most types of sliding friction situations. This was accomplished by providing a wide range of testing capabilities through the use of interchangeable system components. Results show that the UFT provides quality data over its entire operating range. It was shown that normal pressure, sliding speed, temperature and system stiffness all have drastic effects on frictional performance. By using a borosilicate glass disc, the friction surface was viewed in-situ during testing. This allowed insights into true surface temperature and contact area. In conclusion, the UFT can successfully take the place of several friction testers and thus provide many friction research capabilities while requiring fewer resources. The wide range of testing capabilities will allow the UFT to be used as a research tool for many types of advanced friction studies. Some of these may include true surface temperatures, true contact area, influence of conditions on stick-slip phenomenon, and thermo-elastic instabilities.

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