The ‘particle size effect’ and its manifestation in abrasion still attracts considerable debate as to its origins and the ranking of its likely causes. Experiments have been conducted to study the important contribution that the formation of wear debris can have on the progression of wear. The experiments consist of unlubricated (dry) pin-on-disk tests with silicon carbide coated paper of varying particle size, with different pin material, diameter and loads. It has been observed that the influence of debris formation on wear rate is more pronounced for fine abrasives and soft-wearing materials. Consequently, it is proposed that the particle size effect can be explained in terms of geometrical scaling and the evolution of third-body effects with diminishing particle diameter
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