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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Lubrication Film Wear, Track Wear

Severe Lubrication Film Wear, Severe Track Wear

This particle is a fragment of the lubricating film on a track/roller surface. The wear metals are quite large, which indicates severe wear of the metal track or metal roller, but these are hard to see without reflected light illumination. Large metal wear particles indicate a lubrication failure, typically because the rollers are not rolling or they are on a bias and are not aligned with the direction of motion on the track. A high concentration of mineral particles, some crushed quite small, can be seen with this type of illumination and they may be contributing to the lubrication failure.

Transmitted Off Circular Polarized Light

Transmitted Off Crossed Circular Polarized Light and Reflected Darkfield Illumination


These particles are an example of lubrication film wear typical of roller-track environments. These include file cabinet drawers, desk drawers, and even overhead cranes. They are formed by the slight slippage that occurs during motion and the hydrocarbon film that develops on the metal runner over time. These particles are typically black, with an organic matrix and significant numbers of very small metal wear particles.

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