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Boron carbide (B4C) is well known for its high hardness and wear resistance. It has been found to polish its mating surface and act as a run-in coating if one of the contacting surfaces is coated by B4C. Employing such run-in coatings demands a thorough understanding of the initiation and development of the polishing process. This paper reports a study on the initiation and development of the surface wear of 52100 steel balls run against B4C-coated disks. The evolution of the steel surface wear scar and evolution of the contact pressure contours are utilized in connection with changes in the plastically deformed area in order to gain insight into the wear development. Furthermore, variations of fractal parameters of the steel surface and the overall topothesy, which is a measure of the surface anisotropy, are examined in connection with the wear process.
Siniawski, M.T., Harris, S.J., Wang, Q. et al. Wear Initiation of 52100 Steel Sliding Against a Thin Boron Carbide Coating. Tribology Letters 15, 29–41 (2003). /10.1023/A:1023460005836