Products and machines can wear, and then eventually wear out. Heavily used objects, like a safety strap, or the traction on a workboot can lose their friction, and eventually become slick or breaking. Additionally, the parts on a machine can wear as a result of too much friction, and the machinery can become dangerous. For these examples and many others, tribometers (friction meters) are an important way to maintain the proper amount of friction while still monitoring the amount of wear something has encountered.
What is a tribometer?
Tribometers are used to test the friction and wear of their test subject. They are used both in the field and in laboratory situations to analyze how much friction a particular machine, surface, or object offers. It can tell you if a floor is too slippery, if a piece of machinery is rubbing too much and isn’t lubricated properly, how much wear a tire or shoe has, and whether or not there is enough friction to use each item safely or not.
Tribometers measures the coefficient of friction, or COF, between two surfaces. The coefficient varies based on how "moveable" something is. For example, two greased surfaces will have a low coefficient of friction while tires on a tarred road will have a very high coefficient of friction. There are two types of friction, static friction and dynamic (or kinetic) friction. Static friction is defined by the amount of force it takes to make a stationary object (static) start to move. Dynamic friction is defined by the amount of force it takes to keep a moving (dynamic/kinetic) object moving at a constant rate of speed.
How does this affect your machinery, or your company’s safety? A tribometer lets you know when your machinery is running properly, and when machinery is running properly, it is also much more likely to be running safely, decreasing the risk of malfunction or accidents.
Why does this matter?
Kett offers a complete line of testing equipment for surface assessment, including tribometers that can be used in ways they have never been able to be used before. Our handheld portable 3D friction tester has capabilities not before seen in older tribometers. This tribometer can be used on floors, walls, and furniture, but also on things like cosmetics and film, and more importantly, on conveyor belts, rollers, and machinery. They can be used on objects of various shapes and sizes, and at varying temperatures as well. With these new applications, you can be sure that your machinery is running well, and safely.
A great deal of machinery contains moving parts, like bearings, slides, gears, and shafts, and these machines operate best when they move smoothly and remain durable, and the best way to ensure this is by paying careful attention to the wear and friction of these parts. Many production and distribution facilities use conveyors and belts to move products. For optimal processing in these high volume areas, many customers use tribometers to measure the coefficient of friction on the belts, packages and interfaces.
Using a tribometer ensures that you can make necessary adjustments to find the correct balance of friction and wear for your machinery. The tribometer is crucial to taking accurate measurements of the degree of friction to prevent unnecessary wear, or avoid too little friction, which can become dangerous for your machinery, and more importantly, for your employees.
Other uses for your tribometer
Tribometers can also measure the friction on floors and stairs, where falls can occur. Keeping a safe workspace for your employees by maintaining safe flooring can prevents slips, falls, and other accidents, protecting you and your employees. Not only can a tribometer keep your machinery operating smoothly, but it can also keep your workplace safe in other ways too - starting with your floors.
We want to keep your machinery running, your employees safe, and your company working. Through the use of one of our tribometers, you will find your workplace to be a safer, healthier environment. Do you have questions about which tribometer is right for you? Trying to decide between a handheld model or a desktop version? Contact us today, and let us help find the perfect tribometer to keep your workplace safe and happy.