Wear is such an all-encompassing term. Can it be broken down into more manageable categories?

Yes. Many different categories of wear exist—too many to cover in one article—but the most typical modes of wear are as follows (percentages are estimates of total wear):

Most worn parts don’t fail from a single mode of wear, such as impact, but from a combination of modes, such as abrasion and impact. For example, a mining bucket tooth usually is subjected to abrasion and impact, and depending on what type of material is mined (soft or hard rock), one mode may be more dominant than another. This will dictate the welding product used.

Determining the wear mode can be challenging and may require trial and error when you select hard-facing products.