1. Abstract

    Self-lubricating polymer composite coatings, with tailorable tribological and mechanical properties, have been widely employed on mechanical parts to reduce friction and wear, which saves energy and improves the overall performance for applications such as aerospace satellite parts, shafts, gears, and bushings. The addition of functional fillers can overcome the limitations of single-polymer coatings and extend the service life of the coatings by providing a combination of low friction, high wear resistance, high load bearing, high temperature resistance, and high adhesion. This paper compares the heat resistance, and the tribological and mechanical properties of common polymer matrices, as well as the categories of functional fillers that improve the coating performance. Applicable scopes, process parameters, advantages, and limitations of the preparation methods of polymer coatings are discussed in detail. The tribological properties of the composite coatings with different matrices and fillers are compared, and the lubrication mechanisms are analyzed. Fillers reduce friction by promoting the formation of transfer films or liquid shear films. Improvement of the mechanical properties of the composite coatings with fillers of different morphologies is described in terms of strengthening and toughening mechanisms, including a stress transfer mechanism, shear yielding, crack bridging, and interfacial debonding. The test and enhancement methods for the adhesion properties between the coating and substrate are discussed. The coating adhesion can be enhanced through mechanical treatment, chemical treatment, and energy treatment of the substrate. Finally, we propose the design strategies for high-performance polymer composite coating systems adapted to specific operating conditions, and the limitations of current polymer composite coating research are identified.

  2. Abstract

    Fluorographene, a new alternative to graphene, it not only inherits the 2-dimensional (2D) layered structure and outstanding mechanical properties, but also possesses controllable C–F bonds. It is meaningful to reveal the evolution processes of the tribological behaviors from graphene to fluorographene. In this work, fluorinated reduced graphene oxide nanosheets (F–rGO) with different degree of fluorination were prepared using direct gas-fluorination and they were added into gas to liquid-8 (GTL-8) base oil as lubricant additive to improve the tribological performance. According to the results, the coefficient of friction (COF) reduced by 21%, notably, the wear rate reduced by 87% with the addition of highly fluorinated reduced graphene oxide (HF–rGO) compared with rGO. It was confirmed that more covalent C–F bonds which improved the chemical stability of HF–rGO resisted the detachment of fluorine so the HF–rGO nanosheets showed less damage, as demonstrated via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectra, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Meanwhile, the ionic liquid (IL) adsorbed on HF–rGO successfully improved the dispersibility of F–rGO in GTL-8 base oil. The investigation of tribofilm by TEM and focused ion beam (FIB) illustrated that IL displayed a synergy to participate in the tribochemical reaction and increased the thickness of tribofilm during the friction process.

  3. Abstract

    With the development of surface and interface science and technology, methods for the online modulation of interfacial performance by external stimuli are in high demand. Switching between ultra-low and high friction states is a particular goal owing to its applicability to the development of precision machines and nano/micro-electromechanical systems. In this study, reversible switching between superlubricity and high friction is realized by controlling the electric potential of a gold surface in aqueous salt solution sliding against a SiO2 microsphere. Applying positive potential results creates an ice-like water layer with high hydrogen bonding and adhesion at the interface, leading to nonlinear high friction. However, applying negative potential results in free water on the gold surface and negligible adhesion at the interface, causing linear ultra-low friction (friction coefficient of about 0.004, superlubricity state). A quantitative description of how the external load and interfacial adhesion affected friction force was developed, which agrees well with the experimental results. Thus, this work quantitatively reveals the mechanism of potential-controlled switching between superlubricity and high-friction states. Controlling the interfacial behavior via the electric potential could inspire novel design strategies for nano/micro-electromechanical and nano/micro-fluidic systems.

  4. Abstract

    Anthracite sheets were coated by sorbitol fatty acid ester (span80) through ball-milling process. The tribological properties of the span80-coated anthracite sheets as the additive in polyalpha olefin were evaluated through a series of friction tests using a four ball machine. The results revealed that the span80-coated anthracite sheets exhibited excellent dispersion stability in base oil. In addition, compared with base oil, the average coefficient of friction, wear scar diameter, and wear volume of modified oil at a mass fraction of 0.03% span80-coated anthracite sheets decreased by 45.39%, 60.13%, and 95.95%, respectively. The oil containing span80-coated anthracite sheets achieved good friction-reducing and anti-wear effects over a wide range of applied loads, temperatures, or rotating speeds. Control experiments were performed as well. The results obtained using span80-coated anthracite sheets were superior to those obtained using pure anthracite. The lubrication mechanism was attributed to the synergistic action of the crystalline and amorphous carbon in anthracite sheets as they formed a protective film and played a mitigative role on the surface of friction pair, which mitigated the wear extent of the friction pair.

  5. Abstract

    In biodiesel-fueled compression-ignition (CI) engines, dilution by unburned biodiesel has been found to have adverse effects on the boundary lubrication properties of additives in fully formulated engine lubricants. Such dilution of engine lubricants could be even more pronounced for CI engines running on higher blend concentrations of biodiesel. Given the nanoscopic nature of the interaction, this study seeks to determine the nano-tribological properties of an engine lubricant additive (e.g., zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP)) when diluted with a fatty acid methyl ester (e.g., methyl oleate). Using lateral force microscopy (LFM) together with a fluid imaging technique, the lowest nanoscopic friction forces and coefficient of friction values (0.068–0.085) were measured for ZDDP when diluted with 70 vol% of methyl oleate. These values are also observed to be lower than those measured for neat ZDDP and neat methyl oleate, respectively, under similar conditions. Subsequently, interpreting the data with the Eyring thermal activation energy approach, it could then be elucidated that the lower frictional losses observed for the contact lubricated with this volumetric mixture are a result of the lower potential energy barrier and activation energy required to initiate sliding. These energy values are approximated to be 2.6% and 28.9% (respectively) lower than that of the contact lubricated with neat ZDDP. It was also found that the mixture, at this volumetric concentration, possesses the highest possible pressure activation energy (load-carrying capacity) along with the lowest possible shear activation energy (shearing), potentially indicating optimum tribological conditions for boundary lubrication. Thus, the findings of this study suggest that an optimum concentration threshold exists in which a synergistic nano-tribological interaction between additives and fatty acid methyl esters can be attained, potentially reducing boundary frictional losses of lubricated conjunctions. Such findings could prove to be essential in effectively formulating synergistic additive concentrations for engine lubricants used in biodiesel-fueled CI engines.

  6. Abstract

    Friction stir processing (FSP) is an emerging solid-state technique for preparing surface composites using various reinforcements. Ceramics and metallic particles are easily reinforced in a matrix by this technique. Surface composites made from an LM24 alloy reinforced with graphite and tin, with good wettability and material flow owing to the low melting point of tin, were fabricated by FSP at two rotational speeds of 1,400 and 1,000 rpm. Despite its low hardness, the graphite/LM24 surface composite fabricated at a higher rotational speed of 1,400 rpm exhibited better wear resistance. However, its frictional behavior was not significantly affected by the reinforcement. The fabricated surface composites with graphite and tin reinforcement as well as graphite-only reinforcement exhibited contradicting behaviors under sliding wear conditions. The post wear analysis indicated that abrasion, adhesion, layer formation, and delamination occurred on the composite surfaces.

  7. Abstract

    Relationship between contact size (A) and static friction (f) has been studied for rigid crystalline systems. We built a series of systems with two identical surfaces but different orientations and investigated the effects of the size and shape of the contact area on static friction. In these systems, there are numerous nontrivial commensurate contacts. Our results confirmed that the relationship between A and f was determined by both commensurability and shape of the contact. For commensurate contacts, fA independent of the shape. For incommensurate contacts, generally fA0 for regular shapes or fA1/4 for irregular shapes; however, in very few cases of regular shapes, fA1/2. Moreover, in above systems, commensurability of a contact can be easily changed by a perturbation of the misfit angle. Therefore, if the perturbation caused by the lateral force and the deformation of the surface are considered (as is the case in real systems), further research is necessary.

  8. Abstract

    The combined use of focused ion beam (FIB) milling and field-emission scanning electron microscopy inspection (FESEM) is a unique and successful approach for assessment of near-surface phenomena at specific and selected locations. In this study, a FIB/FESEM dual-beam platform was implemented to docment and analyze the wear micromechanisms on a laser-surface textured (LST) hardmetal (HM) tool. In particular, changes in surface and microstructural integrity of the laser-sculptured pyramids (effective cutting microfeatures) were characterized after testing the LST-HM tool against a steel workpiece in a workbench designed to simulate an external honing process. It was demonstrated that: (1) laser-surface texturing does not degrade the intrinsic surface integrity and tool effectiveness of HM pyramids; and (2) there exists a correlation between the wear and loading of shaped pyramids at the local level. Hence, the enhanced performance of the laser-textured tool should consider the pyramid geometry aspects rather than the microstructure assemblage of the HM grade used, at least for attempted abrasive applications.

  9. Abstract

    This study presents the results of detailed wear process examination on polyformaldehyde gears under both dry and lubricated conditions. A multi-purpose durability test rig was employed to study the wear performance of polyformaldehyde gear pairs. The wear behaviors of polyformaldehyde gears under dry and oil-lubricated operating conditions were characterized via measurements of gear tooth surface micro-topography and tooth profile deviation. Under the dry running condition, a hump and a gully appear on the tooth surface in the pitch line area of the driving gear and the driven wheel, respectively. The largest amount of wear was observed around the tooth root of the driving gear. However, the gear tooth wear pattern with lubrication is different from that under the dry running condition.

  10. Abstract

    Friction plays a vital role in energy dissipation, device failure, and even energy supply in modern society. After years of research, data and information on tribology research are becoming increasingly available. Because of the strong systematic and multi-disciplinary coupling characteristics of tribology, tribology information is scattered in various disciplines with different patterns, e.g., technical documents, databases, and papers, thereby increasing the information entropy of the system, which is inconducive to the preservation and circulation of research information. With the development of computer and information science and technology, many subjects have begun to be combined with information technology, and multi-disciplinary informatics has been born. This paper describes the combination of information technology with tribology research, presenting the connotation and architecture of tribo-informatics, and providing a case study on implementing the proposed concept and architecture. The proposal and development of tribo-informatics described herein will improve the research efficiency and optimize the research process of tribology, which is of considerable significance to the development of this field.

  11. Abstract

    Several soft tissues residing in the living body have excellent hydration lubrication properties and can provide effective protection during relative motion. In order to apply this advantage of soft matters in practical applications and try to avoid its disadvantage, such as swelling and weakening in water, a design strategy of a soft/hard double network (DN) hydrogel microsphere modified ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) composite is proposed in this study. A series of microspheres of urea-formaldehyde (UF), polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogel, UF/PAAm double network, and their composites were prepared. The mechanical properties, swelling, wettability, friction properties, and the lubrication mechanisms of the composites were investigated. The results show that DN microspheres can have an excellent stability and provide hydration lubrication. The performance of 75 DN-1 composite was superior to others. This finding will provide a novel strategy for the development of water-lubricated materials and have wide application in engineering fields.

  12. Abstract

    With the increased use of automotive engine start-stop systems, the numerical prediction and reduction of frictional losses in sliding bearings during starting and stopping procedures has become an important issue. In engineering practice, numerical simulations of sliding bearings in automotive engines are performed with statistical asperity contact models with empirical values for the necessary surface parameters. The aim of this study is to elucidate the applicability of these approaches for the prediction of friction in sliding bearings subjected to start-stop operation. For this purpose, the friction performance of sliding bearings was investigated in experiments on a test rig and in transient mixed elasto-hydrodynamic simulations in a multi-body simulation environment (mixed-EHL/MBS). In mixed-EHL/MBS, the extended Reynold’s equation with flow factors according to Patir and Cheng has been combined on the one hand with the statistical asperity contact model according to Greenwood and Tripp and on the other hand with the deterministic asperity contact model according to Herbst. The detailed comparison of simulation and experimental results clarifies that the application of statistical asperity contact models with empirical values of the necessary inputs leads to large deviations between experiment and simulation. The actual distribution and position of surface roughness, as used in deterministic contact modelling, is necessary for a reliable prediction of the frictional losses in sliding bearings during start-stop operation.

  13. Abstract

    Diamond-like carbon (DLC) films are deposited on rubber surfaces to protect the rubber components, and surface pretreatment of the rubber substrates prior to the film deposition can improve the adhesion between the DLC films and the rubber. Thus, the principal purpose of this work concentrates on determining the effects of argon (Ar), oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2), and hydrogen (H2) plasma pretreatments on the adhesion and friction performance of the DLC films deposited on rubber (DLC/rubber). The results indicated that the Ar plasma pretreatment promoted the formation of a compact layer on the rubber surface. By contrast, massive fillers were exposed on the rubber surface after oxygen or nitrogen plasma pretreatments. Moreover, the typical micrometer-scale patches divided by random cracks were observed on the surface of DLC/rubber, except for the sample pretreated with oxygen plasma. The adhesion of DLC/rubber was found to strengthen with the removal of weak boundary layers and the generation of free radicals on the rubber surface after plasma pretreatment. The tribo-tests revealed that DLC/rubber with O2, N2, and H2 plasma pretreatments cannot achieve optimal friction performance. Significantly, DLC/rubber with Ar plasma pretreatment exhibited a low and stable friction coefficient of 0.19 and superior wear resistance, which was correlated to the high adhesion, good load-bearing of the rubber surface, and the approximate sine function of the surface profile of the DLC film.

  14. Abstract

    For three-dimensional (3D) mono-layer molecular thin-film lubrication, the elasticity of the substrate affects the tribological behaviors of a thin fluid film confined by two solid substrates. To account for the elastic effects, this study establishes a multi-scale method that combines an atomistic description of the near region with a coarse-grained description of the far region of the solid substrate to simulate the thin-film lubrication. It is demonstrated that for a given temperature range and film-substrate coupling strength, the multi-scale method is in excellent agreement with the fully atomistic simulation. This study reveals that the elastic response of the substrate can be effectively rendered in the hybrid scheme. In the application of the multi-scale method to investigate the tribological properties of the multi-layer molecular thin-film lubrication, it is determined that the systematic static friction coefficient monotonously decreases as the molecular layer thickness in the fluid film increases. In comparison to the mono-layer molecular thin-film lubrication, the multi-layer molecular thin-film lubrication plays a role in reducing the friction and wear of the system.

  15. Abstract

    Nanodiamond particles (NDPs) have been considered as a potential lubricant additive to various tribological applications, such as water lubrication systems. In this study, the tribological properties of silicon carbide (SiC) lubricated by NDPs dispersed in water are investigated utilizing the ball-on-disk tribometer. It is found that the slight addition of NDP to water (i.e., 0.001 wt%) can distinctly accelerate the running-in process, which is necessary to achieve a friction coefficient (μ) as low as 0.01. This study also discusses two NDP functional terminations —hydroxyl and carboxyl. It is demonstrated that the use of carboxyl-terminated NDP over a wide range of concentration (0.001 wt%–1 wt%) yields a low friction force. In contrast, the ideal effective concentration of hydroxyl-terminated NDP is considerably limited because agglomeration in this material is more probable to occur than in the former. Meanwhile, when utilizing NDPs, the input friction energy (Pin, defined as the product of sliding speed and applied load) is found to have an essential function. Several sliding tests were implemented at various Pin values (50–1,500 mW) using carboxyl-terminated water-dispersed NDPs. It was observed that the μ and wear decreased with increasing Pin when 200 mW < Pin < 1,500 mW. However, when Pin < 200 mW, low friction with high wear occurs compared with the resulting friction and wear when pure water is used.

  16. Abstract

    This study investigates the development of novel montmorillonite/castor oil blends to formulate sustainable lubricating greases to promote the replacement of petrochemicals industry-derived materials by substances obtained from renewable sources. Specifically, the effect of the thickener concentration on the rheological, chemical, thermal, tribological properties, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) microstructure of these systems were studied. The results showed that the C20A nanoclay content could be used to modulate the viscosity values, the linear viscoelastic functions, and tribological properties of these montmorillonite dispersions. In general, these gel-like dispersions exhibited remarkable lubricant properties; the samples showed values of the friction coefficient and wear scars similar or lower than those obtained with model bentonite grease.

  17. Abstract

    The influence of structural factors on the lubrication performance of organic friction modifiers (OFMs) formulated in Group V (polyol ester oil) base oil was studied using a ball-on-disk tribometer. The results show that OFMs can mitigate friction under heavy loads, low sliding speeds, and high temperatures. These conditions are commonly encountered in internal-combustion engines between cylinder liners and piston rings. The reduction in friction is ascribed to the boundary lubrication film containing the OFM. The chemical composition analysis of the metal disk surface using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) confirmed the presence of a protective film of OFM on the wear track, albeit inconsistently deposited. Although the adsorption of the OFM on the metal surface was observed to be dependent on the chemical reactivity of the functional groups, levels of unsaturation, and hydrocarbon chain length of the OFM, the frictional performance was not always directly correlated with the surface coverage and tribofilm thickness. This implies that the friction reduction mechanism can involve other localized processes at the interface between the metal surface and lubricant oil. The occasional variation in friction observed for these OFMs can be attributed to the stability and durability of the boundary film formed during the rubbing phase.

  18. Abstract

    In this study, the tribological behaviors of graphene as a lubricant additive for steel/copper and steel/steel friction pairs were compared. For the steel/copper friction pair, the graphene sheets remarkably decreased the coefficient of friction and wear scar depth under low loads, but these slightly increased under high loads. The steel/steel friction pair showed excellent tribological properties even under high loads. Severe plastic deformation on the copper surface reduced the stability of the graphene tribofilm because of a rough copper transfer film on the steel during the running-in period. The results provide a better understanding of the mechanism of graphene as a lubricant additive.

  19. Abstract

    Layered palygorskite (PAL), commonly called attapulgite, is a natural inorganic clay mineral composed of magnesium silicate. In this study, an aqueous miscible organic solvent treatment method is adopted to prepare molybdenum-dotted palygorskite (Amo-PMo) nanoplatelets, which greatly improved the specific surface area of PAL and the dispersion effect in an oil-based lubricant system. Their layered structure and size were confirmed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy. Following a tribological test lubricated with three additives (PAL, organic molybdenum (SN-Mo), and Amo-PMo), it was found that the sample of 0.5 wt% Amo-PMo exhibited the best tribological properties with a coefficient of friction of 0.09. Moreover, the resulting wear scar diameter and wear volume of the sliding ball surface were 63% and 49.6% of those lubricated with base oil, respectively. Its excellent lubricating performance and self-repairing ability were mainly attributed to the generated MoS2 adsorbed on the contact surfaces during the tribochemical reaction, thereby effectively preventing the direct collision between asperities on sliding solid surfaces. Thus, as-prepared Amo-PMo nanoplatelets show great potential as oil-based lubricant additives, and this study enriches the existing application of PAL in industry.

  20. Abstract

    Elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) is a type of fluid-film lubrication where hydrodynamic behaviors at contact surfaces are affected by both elastic deformation of surfaces and lubricant viscosity. Modelling of contact interfaces under EHL is challenging due to high nonlinearity, complexity, and the multi-disciplinary nature. This paper aims to understand the state of the art of computational modelling of EHL by (1) examining the literature on modeling of contact surfaces under boundary and mixed lubricated conditions, (2) emphasizing the methods on the friction prediction occurring to contact surfaces, and (3) exploring the feasibility of using commercially available software tools (especially, Simulia/Abaqus) to predict the friction and wear at contact surfaces of objects with relative reciprocating motions.