What is it?
The Mini-Traction Machine (MTM) is a multi-purpose instrument for measuring friction and traction properties of lubricated and unlubricated surface contacts, under a wide range of rolling and sliding conditions.
Why do we use it?
The MTM allows us to investigate friction and traction using a variety of materials, geometrical contacts, oil temperatures and contact pressures.
One of the main uses of the MTM is to measure friction between lubricated steel surfaces, under conditions typically found in internal combustion engines.
The MTM has great flexibility, so can be used to investigate lubricated contacts in many other applications, such as, transmission fluids, gear oils, bearings and shock absorbers.
How does it work?
In its standard configuration, a ball mounted in a holder is brought into contact with a disc in a temperature controlled pot containing the sample lubricant. The speed of the ball and the disc are controlled independently to give the desired relative motion (rolling contact, sliding contact or a mixed / sliding rolling contact).
The MTM is used to determine the friction profile of the specific ‘system’, typically recorded in the form of a Stribeck curve for metal – metal contacts.
3D Profilometer Analysis
Spacer Layer Image Mapping (SLIM)
SLIM is a camera and processing system used to investigate the formation of inorganic films on the surface of the ball. Inorganic film formation is effectively mapped throughout the test using optical interferometry.
The high resolution digital image of the contact is captured, as seen below. The colour information is then used to determine film thickness within the contact.
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