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Wear, a form of surface deterioration, is a factor in a majority of component failures. This article is primarily concerned with abrasive wear mechanisms such as plastic deformation, cutting, and fragmentation which, at their core, stem from a difference in hardness between contacting surfaces. Adhesive wear, the type of wear that occurs between two mutually soluble materials, is also discussed, as is erosive wear, liquid impingement, and cavitation wear. The article also presents a procedure for failure analysis and provides a number of detailed examples, including jaw-type rock crusher wear, electronic circuit board drill wear, grinding plate wear failure analysis, impact wear of disk cutters, and identification of abrasive wear modes in martensitic steels.

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