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Friction and wear are important when considering the operation and efficiency of components and mechanical systems. Among the different types and mechanisms of wear, adhesive wear is very serious. Adhesion results in a high coefficient of friction as well as in serious damage to the contacting surfaces. In extreme cases, it may lead to complete prevention of sliding; as such, adhesive wear represents one of the fundamental causes of failure for most metal sliding contacts, accounting for approximately 70% of typical component failures. This article discusses the mechanism and failure modes of adhesive wear including scoring, scuffing, seizure, and galling, and describes the processes involved in classic laboratory-type and standardized tests for the evaluation of adhesive wear. It includes information on standardized galling tests, twist compression, slider-on-flat-surface, load-scanning, and scratch tests. After a discussion on gear scuffing, information on the material-dependent adhesive wear and factors preventing adhesive wear is provided.

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