Mission Statement

Wear of Materials Inc., a non-profit organization, exists to advance the status of understanding of wear by collecting and disseminating information on related research and practice via conferences, symposia and publications.

History of WOM

The first Wear of Materials (WOM) Conference was held in April, 1977 in St. Louis, MO. It grew from the then Lubrication Division (LD) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). There had been two earlier attempts to organize conferences on wear but no collaborating technical societies could be found. The search was limited to other mechanical and lubrication groups in the US and elsewhere.

The Wear Committee of the LD debated the issue at length, about equally split on the proper emphasis for a conference on wear. As the debate continued it became apparent that the committee was split on the definition of wear. The divergent views could not have been more obvious once stated. They were:

  1. Wear results from lubrication failure,
  2. Wear is the loss of materials when two solids interact.
The first view was held by most of the members of the very successful LD. Their technical base is in the physics and mechanics of fluids. Wear-as-material-loss is a topic in material science/engineering and solid mechanics. The Wear Committee decided to try one conference at least, expecting several co-sponsors in the materials societies. The name of the conference was to be Wear of Materials to emphasize the distinction between the two views.

From the outset the standards for the conference papers were high. In the first several conferences each paper was vetted by three reviewers. Later two reviewers were called upon.

Few of the very many WOM papers could be accepted by the ASME Journal of Lubrication Technology because of page count limitations. Most WOM papers were therefore published as Conference Proceedings of the ASME. Since 1987, WOM papers have been included in special issues of the premier journal, Wear.

WOM History Factoids