Published: Jan 2001
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This paper will review the use of tribological aspect numbers when selecting a bench test to simulate a field application. “Realizing Bench Test Solutions to Field Tribology Problems by Utilizing Tribological Aspect Numbers”  first published in 1993 is an analytical method for selecting bench tests that best simulate field conditions or wear problems. Scientists, product developers, lubrication formulators, and material engineers and scientists can use this approach to select the most applicable bench test. The bench test selected can then be used to evaluate materials under laboratory conditions that can simulate field conditions and environments.
Bench testing is the simplest form of testing, isolating one particular set of tribological conditions. It is generally the first step in the testing program, preceding more complex, multi-variable, component tests. The tribological aspect number (TAN) was developed to identify and code a particular tribological condition. This identification or coding simplifies the process of matching the field condition to a bench test. Today, more individual bench tests are available to the tribologist. This review paper will describe the TAN approach, update the list of bench tests and their corresponding TAN and give several specific situations. This paper will also investigate the test parameter options and acceleration of test procedures required to produce test results in a reasonable time period.
bench test, simulation, TAN, tribological aspect number, test geometry, tribology, wear test selection
Vice President, Falex Corporation, Sugar Grove, IL