The ball-on-disk wear test is widely used in order to determine the sliding wear resistance behaviour of the samples. Although a great number of authors consider the ball-on-disk test to be far from the real situation, the results obtained permit to develop a preliminary idea about the wear behaviour of the tested samples. During the development of the ball-on-disk test a wear track is formed on the test specimen. Scanning white light interferometry can be used to determine the surface damage in the wear track by obtaining images which relate to the surface profile and general morphology. From measurements on interferometric profiles it is possible to determine accurately the track depth and width and hence the volume of the coating removed by wear. It is also possible to determine by optical microscopy the volume of metal lost from the ball. The results obtained have improved the general understanding of the energy absorption during wear and of the observed changes in the coefficient of friction. The results obtained have shown that with the coatings of WC-Co deposited by the HVOF process no volumetric changes occur when using a WC-6%Co sintered ball. Tests on coatings containing TiC or Cr3CZ as the carbide phase or stainless steel coatings show significant losses of material.

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