Small (1 mm diameter) probe tips are used on sub-micron accuracy scanning coordinate measuring machines. One of the larger contributions to measurement uncertainty is micron-scale probe tip wear. Wear was generated on ruby and silicon nitride probe tips under precisely controlled dry sliding conditions on ground, carburized and hardened steel surfaces. Volumetric wear was measured using an interferometric microscope. Wear volume data was then expressed in terms of Archard wear coefficients. The measured wear rate of silicon nitride sliding on steel was approximately twice that of ruby.

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