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About Wyzenbeek Double Rubs and Cycles and
Martindale Movements, Cycles, Rubs, and Lissajous Figures

The Wyzenbeek Abrasion Tester is a type of abrasion testing instrument. The Wyzenbeek instrument first came into use around the early 1920s in the United States. It uses an oscillating cylinder covered with abradant to rub against the specimen being tested, which is held stationary against the abradant under pressure and tension.

The Martindale Abrasion Tester was developed by J.G. Martindale in the early 1940s under the auspices of the Wool Industries Research Association in England. It uses an oscillating top plate to move a circular test specimen in a grouping of elliptical repeating paths over a stationary abradant under pressure. There are a set of 16 sequentially changing ovals or back and forth ellipses executed in each repeating group. The precise repeating group is known as a Lissajous figure.

Quantifying The Abrasion Resistance Of Textiles can be performed in several ways each of which requires the rubbing of the fabric of interest against a standard abradant and the assessment of how much abrasion it takes to either create a hole, an aesthetic deterioration, a loss of strength, or a loss of mass.

Upholstery testing product performance specifications use the amount of abrasion required to create a two yarn break hole in the fabric of interest as a quantitative operational definition of abrasion resistance. The amount of abrasion is measured by the counter on the abrasion testing instrument.

For the Wyzenbeek, each time the cylinder moves forward and backward the counter on the front of the instrument is incremented by 1. This cyclical movement is typically referred to as a cycle or double rub and is defined this way in the current ASTM D4157 Test Method. The video below shows the Wyzenbeek in action with the abrasion count as it would be used in a Contract Upholstery or similar product performance specification:

Wyzenbeek Abrasion Testing


Traditionally on the Martindale instrument every time an elliptical back and forth path is completed the counter on the front of the instrument is incremented by 1. This single elliptical or oval back and forth path is commonly referred to as a rub in Europe or in common parlance as a cycle in the United States. It was defined as of 2007 in ASTM D4966 as a movement but the term movement is almost never used in reporting Martindale abrasion test results or in product performance specifications referencing Martindale abrasion. In the 2010 version of ASTM D4966 the term movement was stricken and replaced by rub with a reference to ASTM D4850 Standard Terminology, Relating to Fabrics and Fabric Test Methods, where the terms Martindale Rub and Martindale  Abrasion Cycle are explicitly defined.

ISO 12947-1:1998(E) refers to ASTM movements and typical U.S. Performance Specification Cycles as rubs. Abrasion cycles are technically defined in both ISO 12947 and ASTM D4966-2010 and subsequent editions as the 16 movements or rubs making up the Lissajous repeat, however, it should be kept in mind that the use of cycle in this manner is not commonly used in the U.S. contract-textile industry, and many other industries. U.S. product performance specifications and test reports often use the word cycles as being synonymous with rubs.

The video below shows the Martindale in action performing ASTM D4966 with the abrasion count in cycles as it would be used in a current U.S. contract upholstery or similar product performance specifications shown in blue on the top row of text. Rubs, ISO Cycles, ASTM Abrasion Cycles, and Lissajous Cycles are also shown.

Martindale Abrasion Testing