This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Effect of Sand on the Wear of Anodized Aluminum




Pope, Sara

Type of Degree



Mechanical Engineering


Sand can cause excessive wear in mechanical systems, especially when the motion is frequent and small in amplitude. A modified block-on-flat wear test of anodized aluminum on hard coat anodized aluminum was used to study this effect. The experiments were performed with and without sand in order to study the effects of the sand. Two methods of adding sand were used. Profilometry was utilized to study the differences between the two methods. The sand appears to change the wear mechanism from an adhesive to an abrasive mechanism. Black wear particles formed both when there was sand and when there was not sand. The source of these particles has been investigated. Wear rates have been calculated based on both the change in the masses of the samples and the change in the height of the blocks over the course of each test. The wear rates from the change in the masses are repeatable with and without sand, but the results for the change in height show no repeatability without sand. In addition, only in the presence of sand do the trends for the two methods agree. The wear rate was found to be non-linear as a function of load and therefore not in agreement with Archard's Wear Law. The wear rate also increased significantly when sand was present in the contact for the duration of the test.