The Tribology facilities in the Department of Mechanical Engineering include some of the latest state-of-the art equipment in this area which has been designed in universities throughout the UK i.e.
Impinging Jet Erosion Apparatus with electrochemical interface for measuring corrosion current densities during the erosion test.(Velocity range, 1-12 m/s, particle size range from 50um to 1mm). ACM potentiostat with computer controlled data acquisition system.This is a test widely used to simulate erosion-corrosion of components for offshore applications.Erosion-corrosion mechanism maps, for various material/parameter combinations, are being generated based on the experimental results from the test programme, and the extent of "synergy" between the two processes may be identified using such results.
Raindrop erosion test rig. The rain drop diameter can be varied from 1.8 to 3 mm and the velocity can be controlled to 6o m/s. This is currently being use to develop erosion and erosion-corrsoion mechanisms maps for raindrop erosion in wind turbine applications, including offshore environments. Materials of interest include composites and steels for bearings.
Micro-Abrasion Apparatus (Plint TE66). This facilitates abrasion tests for very small particle sizes-in the order of 10um. There is no restriction on particle shape.( Load range 1-5 N, Rotational speed range 50-150 rpm). This has applications to many areas of tribology, in particular to micro-abrasion in hip and knee joints. Micro-abrasion-corrosion maps in aqueous environments are being constructed using results from this rig, for application to hip joint and dental replacement materials. This rig has been instrumented for electrchemical measurement.
Pin on ring apparatus for sliding in corrosive conditions. This standard apparatus, with a long history in the tribology literature, has been modified in order to assess the corrosion rate in the sliding contact, in an aqueous medium. An ACM potentiostat is attached to the rig in order that controlled measurements of current density may be made at various electrochemical potentials. This enables the individual corrosion and wear contributions to be evaluated for the various materials, under exposure, at a range of applied loads, velocities and pHs.
Other facilities available include those for micro-hardness and fatigue. In addition there is a vast range of analytical equipment available on site i.e.
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
X Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive X Ray Analysis (EDX) for chemical analysis.