Project duration: 1 January 2018 – 31 March 2021


Wear is understood as a loss of material and consequently of part geometry due to the interaction of the working part with external bodies, as particles or other moving parts in the machinery. Part failure by wear is one the most relevant sources for part malfunction in the industry. Apart from the cost of part reparation or substitution, wear failure in large industrial parts has an important economic impact on production efficiency because of production losses during machinery downtime.

Wear prediction in a quantitative manner is not possible nowadays. Fracture prevention in many structural parts in bridges, airplane, vehicle, etc, is routinely carried out and it is considered as state of the art. However, wear is difficult to predict because it implies complex interactions between bodies, and acting forces are not easy to measure or predict. In this sense, the possibility of having a software to predict, localize and quantify wear would be very helpful to define maintenance and reparation task of large industrial parts, as those working in the mining industry.

Parts in mining industry machinery are usually subjected to harsh working conditions, with high forces, abrasive media, low temperature and big impacts. All these conditions give rise to severe wear damage in many parts of the machinery, with the associated high costs for maintenance and substitution.

The solution (technology)

The project HARSHWORK addresses this topic by developing a software model to predict wear in parts working under harsh conditions. Likewise, the wear prediction model could be applied to other sectors, such as processing and recycling plants or hard materials design, providing operational savings to a wider number of companies and increasing the available market for the software end product.

This will optimize exploitation costs by reducing maintenance periods, decreasing costs and increasing performance of machinery. Project results are of keen interest to mining companies and mining equipment manufacturers, as well as a wider range of steelmakers, engineering, and recycling sector.


  • Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden (Lead partner)
  • Bianna Recycling SL, Spain
  • Boliden Mineral AB, Sweden
  • General Council of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce, Spain
  • Fundació CTM Centre Technologic, Spain
  • IDP lngenieria y Arquitectura Iberia, S.L.U., Spain
  • LTU Business AB, Sweden
  • Outotec (Finland) Oy, Finland
  • Outotec Pty. Ltd., Australia
  • SSAB AB, Sweden