Dr Nicola Symonds

Unit Head


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A material’s ability to resist wear – or wear at a known rate – is very important. We can use our wide range of research equipment to measure the wear resistance of provided materials, rank their performance, and help you select the best material for your next project.

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Spencer Court

Our expert tribologists, who all have many years of experience, are available to carry out bespoke wear tests on your materials. We will offer you the best advice to allow you to get the most from our results.

  • A ‘true tribocouple’ is when we wear actual materials under in-service conditions, including replicating load, speed, pressure, lubrication and temperature.

Wear conditions we can simulate

  • Sliding wear
    • Reciprocating
    • Single direction
  • Abrasive wear:
    • 2 body
    • 3 body
  • Erosive wear
    • Slurry
    • Air-sand
    • Cavitation


  • Erosion by liquids

    Our slurry erosion rig, allows us to simulate the effects of particles in liquids. We work with the oil industry testing materials for pumps and in pipe work.

    Particulate Erosion Testing
  • Air-sand erosion

    We perform tests to assess materials for use in 'dirty' airflows. For example helicopter blades in dessert conditions, wind turbines, leading edges of aeroplane wings

    Particulate Erosion Testing
  • Small scale

    Learn about micro-abrasion, in which a grit loaded ceramic ball is rotated against the samples.

    Micro Abrasion Wear Testing
  • Abrasive wheels

    Let us introduce are new piece of kit - the Taber Abrader. We combine this industry standard piece of kit with our extensive post test analysis techniques.

    Taber Abrader Wear Testing
  • Tribo couple

    Find out about our pin-on-disc and reciprocating sliding wear rigs , each can also measure friction.

    Sliding Wear and Friction
  • Cavitation erosion

    We can simulate the wear caused by collapsing bubbles often found in pipe work, pumps and impellers.

    Cavitation Erosion Testing

Post test analysis

  • Mass loss on precision balance (0.01mg)
  • Volume loss using 3D surface area profilometry
  • Roughness parameters using metrology equipment
  • Cross-sectional views through wear scars
  • Optical and scanning election microscopy