Dr Nicola Symonds

Unit Head


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Put simply, wear is the removal of material from a surface. It typically happens when two materials rub together – affecting any mechanism with moving parts – or when particles or imploding air bubbles hit a surface. Wear can occur in numerous engineering scenarios; helicopter blades in desert air, wear in tyres and brakes, and air bubbles in pipework or pumps are just some examples.

Understanding a material’s ability to resist wear – or wear at a known rate – is essential for troubleshooting or selecting the right material for a new product. We can use our wide range of research equipment to measure the wear resistance of materials under simulated in-service conditions, and rank their performance to support your R&D.

Expert advice and analysis

At nC2 we offer a complete service that includes:

  • designing and conducting the optimum suite of tests
  • examining the results using the relevant materials characterisation techniques to understand the wear mechanism, and taking metrics such as mass loss, volume loss or roughness
  • analysing the results and providing you with information and advice to help you take your project forward

Our wear testing lead, Dr Nicola Symonds, will take the time to understand your requirements and build a bespoke package that meets your needs.

Contact Nicola to arrange a free consultation

Professor Nicola Symonds

Explore Our Wear Testing Services

  • We can wear actual materials under in-service conditions, including replicating load, speed, pressure, lubrication and temperature.

    Dr Nicola Symonds, Director of nC² and Wear Testing Lead

What we offer

  • Free initial consultation and bespoke quote, which may include free practice tests to determine the best test plan – if you’re not sure exactly what you need, we can advise you.
  • A choice of packages to suit your requirements.
  • Tests tailored to your needs, run by specialist staff in our state-of-the-art labs.
  • A comprehensive report including results and expert advice, plus a meeting to discuss the results.

Why choose nC2?

  • A testing and analysis service of the highest quality.
  • Access to specialised facilities and knowledge across the University of Southampton.
  • Packages to suit your budget and requirements – whether you’re looking for a one-off test or support for a major project.
  • Excellent customer service – we’ll keep you in the loop every step of the way.
  • High levels of customer satisfaction.