Wear – a small word that describes a big problem. The mortal enemy of your equipment and a term that can strike fear into even the most seasoned operator. Wear can be a larger obstacle than any material you are cutting resulting in expensive equipment repair, replacement costs, and significant downtime.
In a definition, wear is: The removal, deformation, or change of the surface of a material due to the mechanical action of another body or chemical action of the environment. Should this be credited?
So, how can you conquer this opponent?
The first step is to arm yourself with the proper knowledge to identify the type of wear afflicting your machinery.
The five most common types of wear:
This is the most common type of wear and generally what comes to mind when thinking of a tool slowly losing performance. Abrasive wear occurs when either a rough, hard surface, or soft surface with hard particles embedded in its surface slides over a softer material. This motion causes the surrounding material to chip and deform.
Abrasion occurring between only two materials sliding against one another is referred to as two-body abrasive wear, whereas abrasive wear caused by the presence of loose particles (such as metal fragments, dust, and other contaminants) is called three-body abrasive wear.
When two surfaces are brought together under load, rough edges of the materials bond together (similar to the reaction that occurs during a cold weld). As the surfaces continue sliding over one another, the junctions are sheared leaving amounts of both materials adhered together. These “welds” in turn cause irregular flow of chips over the surface, further accelerating wear.
While the other wear mechanisms here are physical, corrosion is facilitated by a chemical reaction. The kind we are most familiar with is rust. Corrosion is usually a gradual process with the materials slowly being worn by exposure to the environment, and generally occurs in two stages. First, there is the corrosive attack on the surface. Then (as with the others here) abrasive sliding action causes material to be sheared away. If compounds formed during corrosion are harder than the original material and if loose particles are present, the rate of wear is substantially increased.
This type of wear occurs when hard particles carried within a stream of fluid flow against the surface of a tool. As the particle hits and rotates along the surface, it chips off pieces of your tool. This process is nearly identical to erosion in agriculture or other industries.
This mechanism is exactly as it sounds, wear caused by the impact of two materials. Technically put: The deformation and fracture of a surface due to a high force applied over a short time during a collision with another body. A material’s ability to resist impact wear is referred to as “toughness”. High toughness allows the material to absorb energy, plastically deform, but not fracture.
Many times, mechanisms of wear happen simultaneously and interact with one another. Finding individual solutions to each is expensive, time consuming, and often ineffective.
Kennametal has an answer to wear: KenCast™ — an extremely versatile solution that can last up to 6X longer than other standard wear solutions.
KenCast consists of tungsten carbide particles that have been metallurgically bonded to air-hardened steel. The result? A tough, durable, and extremely wear-resistant material — thanks to the combination of steel and carbide. It can fit nearly any machine for any application and is easily welded or attached mechanically into position.
Whether you’re working above ground or underground, on the road or in the pit, crushing rock or pushing snow, with KenCast protection, you can avoid costly repairs and downtime.