Sandia’s High Throughput Friction and Wear Tester

Sandia’s High Throughput Friction and Wear Tester

Dept. of Energy

Laboratory: Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

Technology: High Throughput Friction and Wear Tester

Opportunity: This technology is available for licensing.

Details: There is a need for high volume material testing/qualification, but industry and researchers are currently limited by commercially available testing devices. Most wear testers can handle only one sample at a time and are often expensive. Sandia’s high throughput friction and wear tester enables testing on up to 16 samples simultaneously. It can complete a statistical study of material coatings under a variety of environmental conditions in a few hours rather than months.

The high throughput tester can be used to investigate deposition and chemical optimization, speed dependence, reliability, coating uniformity, and friction/wear behavior. The tester contains multiple environmentally isolated testing modules, each of which comprises four load cells, loading arms, deadweight loads, and specially designed quick-change ball holders. Each module can have different environmental and loading conditions, allowing users to evaluate the same coating under different conditions. Alternatively, users can test different materials in similar environments to select the right coating for a particular application. Once the samples are in place, the system’s specially designed software allows users to set test conditions (length, speed, cycle) in each module and automatically acquires, organizes, saves, and displays real-time testing data. In addition to real-time data, the software generates a comprehensive data analysis summary for quick and easy review. The entire system is less expensive and more user-friendly than current-state-of-the-art—enabling testing for material development, qualification, or quality control that would have been too cost-prohibitive in the past.


  • Low cost (approximately 5 to 6 times less expensive than conventional testing devices)
  • Enables simultaneous testing using different environmental and loading conditions
  • Automated system that requires minimal user interaction
  • Corresponding software monitors results in real time and reduces large amounts of data for quick review and analysis


  • Coating/material statistical studies
  • Coating/material development
  • Coating/material qualification
  • Coating/material quality control

Contact: To learn more about this technology and other collaboration opportunities, contact

To view the original technology listing on the Sandia website, visit