+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      60 years of Rabinowicz’ criterion for adhesive wear

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          60 years ago, in 1958, Ernest Rabinowicz published a 5 page paper titled “The effect of size on the looseness of wear fragments” where he suggested a criterion determining the minimum size of wear particles. The criterion of Rabinowicz is based on the consideration of the interplay of elastic energy stored in “asperities” and the work of separation needed for detaching a wear particle. He was probably the first researcher who explicitly emphasized the role of adhesion in friction and wear. In a recent paper in Nature Communications, Aghababaei, Warner and Molinari confirmed the criterion of Rabinowicz by means of quasi-molecular dynamics and illustrated the exact mechanism of the transition from plastic smoothing to formation of wear debris. This latter paper promoted the criterion of Rabinowicz to a new paradigm for current studies of adhesive wear. The size arguments of Rabinowicz can be applied in the same form also to many other problems, such as brittle-ductile transition during indentation, cutting of materials or ultimate strength of nano-composites.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 23

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          The Phenomena of Rupture and Flow in Solids

           A. Griffith (1921)
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Contact and Rubbing of Flat Surfaces

             J. F. Archard (1953)
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
              • Article: not found

              The Wear of Metals under Unlubricated Conditions


                Author and article information

                Tsinghua Science and Technology
                Tsinghua University Press (Xueyuan Building, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China )
                05 September 2018
                : 06
                : 03
                : 341-348 (pp. )
                [ 1 ] Institute of Mechanics, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin 10623, Germany
                [ 2 ] School of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea
                [ 3 ] Center for Nano-Wear, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea
                Author notes
                * Corresponding authors: Elena POPOVA, E-mail: elena.popova@
                Valentin L. POPOV, E-mail: v.popov@

                Elena POPOVA. She studied Slavistics at the Tomsk State University, Russia (graduated 1987 with degree Dipl.-Phil.) and German literature studies and Philosophy at the University of Paderborn, Germany (graduated 2003 with degree Magistra Artium). She worked at the Tomsk Pedagogical University, Russian Academy of Sciences and later at the University of Potsdam. Since 2007, she coordinated double degree programs in Engineering Science with Russia and China at the Berlin University of Technology and carried out research in the field of history of tribology.

                Valentin L. POPOV. He is full professor at the Berlin University of Technology. He studied physics and obtained his doctorate in 1985 from the Moscow State Lomonosov University. 1985-1998 he worked at the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences and was a guest professor in the field of theoretical physics at the University of Paderborn (Germany) from 1999 to 2002. Since 2002 he is the head of the Department of System Dynamics and the Physics of Friction at the Berlin University of Technology. He has published over 300 papers in leading international journals and is the author of the book “Contact Mechanics and Friction: Physical principles and applications” which appeared in three editions in German, English, Chinese, and Russian. He is the member of editorial boards of many international journals and is organizer of more than 20 international conferences and workshops over diverse tribological themes. Prof. Popov is honorary professor of Tomsk Polytechnic University, of East China University of Science and Technology, and of Changchun University of Science and Technology and distinguished guest professor of Tsinghua University. His areas of interest include tribology, nanotribology, tribology at low temperatures, biotribology, the influence of friction through ultrasound, numerical simulation of contact and friction, research regarding earthquakes, as well as topics related to materials science such as the mechanics of elastoplastic media with microstructures, strength of metals and alloys, and shape memory alloys.

                Dae-Eun KIM. He is currently a professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Center for Nano-Wear (CNW) at Yonsei University. Prof. Kim received his B.S. degree from Tufts Univ., and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from M.I.T. He was an assistant professor at the Ohio State University before joining Yonsei University in 1993. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of IJPEM and Senior Editor of JMST. He is currently the President of the Korean Tribology Society and also serves as the Chair of the Technical Committee for Tribology of International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science (IFToMM). His research interests are micro/nano-tribology, functional coatings, and surface modification techniques.


                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 0, References: 31, Pages: 8
                Short Communication


                Comment on this article