Mathematical analysis establishes that the well-known empirical linear wear law for the adhesive wear of metals is the consequence of the statistics of surface roughness and is almost independent of the assumed contact model. A strain ratio fatigue failure criterion (i.e. the Manson-Coffin low cycle fatigue law) coupled with a probabilistic treatment of surface asperity height distribution and surface contact provides, for the first time, a fundamental explanation for the formation of wear particles. © 1978.
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