Accelerated testing of tribological components – Uncertainties and solutions

Lewis, Simon, Buttery, Michael, Poyntz-Wright, Oliver, Kent, Anthony and Vortsellas, Achilleas (2018) Accelerated testing of tribological components – Uncertainties and solutions. In: 44th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium, 16-18 May 2018, NASA Glenn Research Center.

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A fundamental requirement of any spacecraft mechanism development is to demonstrate the integrity of the selected lubricant system by means of an appropriate life test. As mechanism lifetimes are often long, and development times compressed some form of accelerated test procedure may be required for programmatic reasons though the strict tribological validity of such tests both for fluid-lubricants and for mechanisms employing solid lubricants or self-lubricating bearing is often a point of concern.
This paper discusses the current state of knowledge and limitations regarding accelerated testing, including the influences on lifetime, torque and material wear of the accelerated conditions. The uncertainties of presently available acceleration techniques and limitations of available data and methods are highlighted together with some potential future solutions.

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