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Glossary Term

Definition and Purpose

In the context of tribology, an asperity refers to the microscopic, irregular high points or 'peaks' found on the surface of materials. These asperities are inherent to virtually all solid surfaces and play a critical role in the contact mechanics between interacting surfaces, influencing friction, wear, and lubrication behaviors. Asperities are particularly significant in the boundary lubrication regime, where the lubricant film is too thin to prevent direct surface-to-surface contact.


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