Uncertainty in pin-on-disk wear volume measurements using surface scanning techniques

R. S. Colbert, B. A. Krick, A. C. Dunn, J. R. Vail, N. Argibay, W. G. Sawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The uncertainty of wear volumes measured using surface scanning techniques is often neglected or assumed to be equivalent to the instrument error. A method is proposed that accounts for the number of wear volume scans, the variations in those scans, and the geometry of the experimental system as an improved measure of uncertainty. It demonstrates that the uncertainty in volume is directly correlated to the number of scans taken. A non-uniform wear track was used to validate the method, and the minimal and optimal number of scans was found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-131
Number of pages3
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Profilometry
  • Uncertainty
  • Wear track
  • Wear volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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