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Engineered components fail predominantly in four major ways: fracture, corrosion, wear, and undesirable deformation (i.e., distortion). Typical fracture mechanisms feature rapid crack growth by ductile or brittle cracking; more progressive (subcritical) forms involve crack growth by fatigue, creep, or environmentally-assisted cracking. Corrosion and wear are another form of progressive material alteration or removal that can lead to failure or obsolescence. This article primarily covers the topic of abrasive wear failures, covering the general classification of wear. It also discusses methods that may apply to any form of wear mechanism, because it is important to identify all mechanisms or combinations of wear mechanisms during failure analysis. The article concludes by presenting several examples of abrasive wear.

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