There is no doubt that if you build automation equipment for the food, beverage, and conveyance industry, you understand the importance of good wearing materials.
In general, Earis mechanically induced surface damage that results in the progressive removal of material due to relative motion between two contacting surfaces (erosion). When reading a materials data sheet, “WEAR” is expressed by K-Factor value = W/(F x V x T). A lower K-Factor typically implies better wear resistance.
Wear Factor (K) used to define wear resistance Lower Value = Better Wear Resistance = W/(F x V x T)
SO WHY IS K-FACTOR PROPERTY OFTEN MISSUNDERSTOOD?
1.STM / ISO Standards– Engineers are taught to use quantifiable standards and match them to the specific application needs. In the case of K-Factor property, there is no governing ASTM or ISO Test standard.
Having no industry standards means that engineers will need to interpret the manufacturer’s methodology and data.2. K = W/(F x V x T) is a variable formula that all manufacturers use to define a material’s specific “WEAR” characteristics. Force, velocity, and time are not defined and thus are variables. Each manufacturer uses its own standards for each of these variables.
Therefore, when comparing Manufacturer A to Manufacturer B we cannot assume it is “apples to apples”.• We can assume K-Factor is a relative constant across a manufacturer’s entire product line. The test is performed in a dry environment at ambient temperature and does not account for material softening or soluble lubricants, which can greatly impact performance.
In most food, beverage and conveyance applications, the occurrence of wear is highly undesirable. It leads to material erosion, deterioration, or component failure. This can be enormously expensive to food processors.
Component wear and failure can lead to foreign contamination, expensive recalls, and brand image damage. Wear is usually anticipated. When understood and applied appropriately to a specific application, it could mean the difference between a component’s lifecycle lasting 6 months or 6 years.
Understanding rage, and equipment OEM and aftermarket consumables, understanding K-Factor can influence your bottom line.
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