material research and tribology

WMV LaboratorioMaterialforschung und tribologie

Laboratory for material and (cryo)tribological research

The WMV laboratory department for tribology and material research offers powerful support to our plating department when investigating existing machine and material problems. WMV also conduct trials for third parties to developing new systems. Finally the laboratory is vital for the continuous quality control of the WMV plating processes.

Experience accumulated over 27 years in our machine plating department allows WMV to offer significant advantages in performing failure analysis and solving tribological and material issues;
Our team approaches projects and tasks from a practical point of view and can work quickly as well as skilfully, for example, adapting or manufacturing custom-made testing devices.


1- Tribo tester (special atmosphere, low temperature,
cryogenic or heated conditions)

cryo tribo tester

This highly advanced pin-on-ring tribo-tester is the result of an extended and rigorous development and testing regime. Nowadays sliding elements can be tested under very different conditions. The huge amount of combined sensor data offers vital information about the prevailing wear and friction mechanisms of the dynamic counter-parts. We can manipulate the following conditions:

  • Motion (linear or sinusoidal)
  • Speed
  • Pressure
  • Temperature: - 55°C - +260°C, electronically regulated within 2 °C
    or constant -196°C with liquid nitrogen (cryogenic condition)
  • Liquid or atmospheric conditions (variable humidity, e.g. saturated or 'bone dry' conditions), 99%
    Nitrogen / 99.99 % Argon / 99.9999% Hydrogen atmosphere or other atmospheres on request.

The following data can be recorded (c = continuous data logging):

  • Pin displacement ( C , high accuracy real time wear registration)
  • Final pin height change (accuracy +/- 1 µm / .04 mil)
  • Friction ( C )
  • Pin temperature 1 mm behind interface ( C )
  • Force on Pin ( C )
  • Test chamber temperature ( C )
  • Oxygen level in test chamber
  • Relative Humidity in test chamber ( C )
  • Roughness change pin and ring

  • wear and friction lock door bearings

    Example of tribo measurement dealing with lock door bearings. After 52 minutes a sudden raise
    in friction is observed (failure of PTFE lubrication system) followed by wear increase 1.5 hours later.

The real time data recording supplies vital information about the material behavior during its service life (wear and friction can change a lot during running-in, or small changes in conditions can reveal the cause of high wear or friction). Wear particles can be collected and analyzed in our plasma optical emission spectrometer for quantitative and qualitative compositional analysis. Pin-and-ring surface changes can be examined in our SEM or on our tally surf surface profile plotter (accuracy .4 µm / 0.016 mil). Because of the very sensitive movement (light) sensor, this tribo-tester can also produce static and dynamic (temperature related) stress-strain data (Modulus of Elasticity) of the pin material. In particular, the possibility of establishing highly controllable cryogenic conditions is a unique extra feature of this tribo-tester.

2- Scanning Electron Microscope,
PMI Arc-Spark OES and XRF analysis

scanning electron microscope sputtering

XRF analysis

PMI analysis

Our mobile Spectro Arc-Spark OES device is very well able to determine the elemental composition of unknown parts, including the determination of the elements Si and C !

With our Cambridge scanning electron microscope we are able to magnify samples up to 40,000 times and digitally store images. The dimensions of important details can be measured and displayed in the image. In addition to their high magnification capability, Scanning Electron Microscopes are well known for their very high contrast images and depth of focus. Moreover, SEMs are capable of distinguishing different elements in a sample due to the electron/sample interaction.
See additional SEM pictures
. By means of XRF analysis elements in surfaces can be determined by their typical X-ray patterns as well as the thickness of an (unknown) coating.

3- AES ICP plasma emission spectrometry

AES material research

ICP Atomic Emission Spectrometry is an accurate (ppb Level) and fast method of determining the exact elemental composition of solid materials or liquids (Except Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Chlorine and Fluorine). The WMV plating baths are continuously monitored by this analyzer as are the samples from customers. We first dissolve the metals or alloys in strong (mixed) high purity acid. For this we need less than a gram of material. Cutting tools (such as saws) that can contaminate the sample composition should be strictly avoided. With this technique the porosity of the coating can be monitored by substrate element scanning, and layered structures can be characterized by chemical peeling. The rate of corrosion in media such as acids or seawater can be monitored and quantified very accurately. The accuracy of our results is corroborated by certified standards.

4- Tensile tester

tensile tester

With the Instron tensile tester, we are developing a
new generation of coatings with improved ductility.

5- Surface energy tester


surface energy tester
Contact-angle microscopes provide information about the material's disperse and polar surface energy (closely related to the non-stick effect). Lunac coatings are capable of reducing the surface energy significantly. Some extra measures can further optimize this non-stick effect. Non-stick optimization is very important for extrusion and plast molding machines as well as for food processing machine parts cleaning and release capability. Surface energy can also indicate the degree of surface pollution or organic impregnation.

Other testing possibilities

  1. Elco non-magnetic coating thickness on ferro substrate testing. Eddy current coating thickness testing
    to obtain coating thickness of magnetic coatings on ferro and non-ferro substrates (such as nickel on steel).
  2. Arc spark direct element analysis (capable of determining carbon as well)
  3. HPLC chromatography for various chemical bond analysis
  4. Micro Vickers hardness tester for testing (thin, 25 µm /
    1 mil) coatings on substrates with limited hardness.
  5. Various electronic hardness and roughness testers.
  6. Coating and substrate potential difference recording.