The surface roughnesses of two surfaces in a wear contact can change throughout the course of the wear process. This may or may not change the lubrication mechanism of the system depending on the real area of contact as influenced by the changes in the surface roughness. The present work examines the changes in surface roughness within the contact area, as well as the relative mating of the two surfaces. To quantify the similarity between the two wear surfaces, a new concept, the relative surface conformity, has been defined and developed. To effectively measure this parameter, a computer program was written to input the wear scar profilometry traces and to calculate the relative surface conformity of the two. Finally, the relative surface conformity was shown to rise with increasing test duration, during running in.

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