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Formation of Low-Friction Particle/Polymer Composite Tribofilms by Tribopolymerization
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
2011 (English)In: Tribology letter, ISSN 1023-8883, E-ISSN 1573-2711, Vol. 41, no 2, 387-393 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inorganic fullerene-like (IF) solid lubricant particles based on MoS(2) or WS(2) have recently gained attention in various tribological applications, for instance incorporated in coatings, porous materials, greases and dispersed in oils. However, their effect in oil can be limited often due to inadequate penetration into the contact zone. Meanwhile, tribopolymerization of monomer additives in oil have proven to be efficient to reduce wear, but without significantly reducing the friction. This investigation combines these two lubrication techniques in order to form particle/polymer composite tribofilms, aimed to give low friction and wear in high-pressure sliding contacts. A cyclic amine, caprolactam, was used as the monomer together with IF as well as normal 2H WS(2) particles. Zn-DTP was used as a reference antiwear additive and poly-alfa-olefin (PAO) was used as the base oil. Reciprocal ball-on-flat sliding test results found that monomer plus particles reduced the friction by 10-50%, depending on sliding speed and type of particles, compared with particles or monomer alone. And the scattering between different tests was also considerably lower. The wear rate was also substantially reduced to a level similar to that of Zn-DTP. The particle/polymer composite tribofilms were generally much larger than the actual contact area and its thickness varied from below a few nanometres in the contact centre to several micrometers in the outer parts. Consequently, the reduced friction is believed to come from two effects: one being a trapping of particles in the contact zone, which reduces the boundary friction level; and the other a shift in lubrication regime towards EHD-lubrication due to reduced contact pressures accompanied with the formation of the composite tribofilm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 41, no 2, 387-393 p.
Keyword [en]
Solid lubricant additives, Polymer, Additive-deposited films, Running-in, Boundary lubrication chemistry
National Category
Chemical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67483DOI: 10.1007/s11249-010-9721-2ISI: 000286664400009OAI: diva2:470596
authorCount :2[Available from: 2011-12-29 Created: 2011-12-28 Last updated: 2011-12-29Bibliographically approved

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