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Formula to assess wear due to friction in sheaves/pulleys

  1. Apr 20, 2016 #1
    Hi everyone and greetings from a new member.

    I'm looking for informations about how to estimate the wear due to friction of a rope as it passes through a pulley. Couldn't find anything really consistent about the subject. I looked at the capstan and Archard equations but didn't manage to link one to the other.

    Does anyone have any ideas ?

    Thanks a lot

    A. R.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2016 #2


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    Search on ' tribology friction wear ' .

    To solve actual problems of wear rate you generally need data from previous experience or lab tests or from tests on a prototype of the device being worked on .

    There are handbooks which give wear rate formulas and a selection of wear data for common material combinations but they are no substitute for solid data from tests .

    At least one high tech company I know of conducted extensive experiments to determine wear characteristics of many materials running against each other under a range of loading and lubrication conditions .

    Generally most effort in practical design goes on selecting known material combinations and running conditions that will minimise wear during service life .
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  4. Apr 21, 2016 #3
    Hi Nidum, thanks for your answer !

    I search on tribology and found some interesting stuff. But as you said, it depends a lot on material combinations and tests results. Anyway, thanks for your help.

    Now here's another question, not directly linked to friction wear on pulleys. Does the traction force on a winch rope depend on how many times the rope is spooled on the winch drum ? In other terms, is it necessary to have a minimum length (or minimum contact area) of rope spooled on the drum to avoid sliding ? If so, I would like to know how to determine this required length of spooled rope to get a given traction force.

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