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Difference between Abrasion and Attrition

Difference between Abrasion and Attrition

Mechanical wear is a natural process that occurs when two surfaces interact and one or both are subjected to forces. There are two main types of mechanical wear: abrasion and attrition. While they share some similarities, there are key differences between the two. This blog post will explore those differences and provide examples of each. By understanding the difference between abrasion and attrition, you can better protect your equipment from potential damage.

What is Abrasion?

Abrasion is the process of wearing away material through rubbing. Abrasion can occur naturally, such as when water flows over rocks, or it can be the result of human activity, such as when sandpaper is used to smooth a rough surface. Abrasion is also a type of wear that can occur in mechanical systems, such as when friction causes two moving parts to rub against each other. Abrasion can be a problem because it can damage surfaces or cause them to degrade over time. Abrasive materials, such as sandpaper, are often used to remove unwanted material from surfaces. Abrasive blasting, a process in which high-pressure air or water is used to remove contaminants from a surface, is another example of how abrasion can be used in a positive way.

What is Attrition?

Attrition is the breaking down of rock by other rocks. It is a physical process that happens when two rocks rub against each other. The force of the rubbing creates friction, which generates heat. The heat causes the rocks to break down into smaller pieces. Attrition is different from erosion, which is the wearing away of rock by water, wind, or ice. Attrition is also different from weathering, which is the breaking down of rock by chemicals.

Attrition can happen on a small scale, such as when two pebbles rub together, or on a large scale, such as when a glacier grinds against a mountain. Attrition is an important process in the formation of soil and sediment. It can also help to create unique landscapes, such as sandstone cliffs and coral reefs.

Difference between Abrasion and Attrition

Abrasion and Attrition are two processes that lead to the breaking down of rocks. Abrasion is the process of rocks being broken down by other rocks rubbing against them. This can happen when two rocks are scraped together or when a rock is hit by another rock. Attrition is the process of rocks being broken down by water, wind, or ice. These elements can cause the rocks to break apart or wear away over time.

Abrasion and Attrition are both forces that lead to the erosion of rocks. While they both can cause Rocks to break down, Abrasion happens when rocks are scraped together while attrition happens when water, wind, or ice cause rocks to wear away over time. Abrasion is a force that acts on a rock from the outside while attrition is a force that acts on a rock from the inside.


Abrasion and attrition are two common causes of wear on natural and artificial materials. However, they are very different processes. Abrasion is the process of wearing down a material through contact with other surfaces. Attrition, on the other hand, is caused by particles or fragments of material that are carried away from one surface and deposited on another. Understanding the difference between these two types of wear can help you choose the right protection for your equipment and extend its lifespan.

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