Research Papers: Friction & Wear

Effects of Particle-Induced Crystallization on Tribological Behavior of Polymer Nanocomposites

[+] Author and Article Information
David Huitink, Tahira Zarrin, Matthew Sanders, Subrata Kundu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123

Hong Liang1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123hliang@tamu.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Tribol 133(2), 021603 (Mar 18, 2011) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003562 History: Received July 07, 2010; Revised January 19, 2011; Published March 18, 2011; Online March 18, 2011

Similar to conventional engineering fabrication processes, tribological performance of drugs and pills in pharmaceutical manufacturing plays an important role in quality and product yields. In the present research, we investigate the effects of crystal structures of workpiece materials on their tribological performance in conditions typical of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. Sorbitol composites containing gold nanoparticles were evaluated for material properties and tribological performance. It was found that the control exhibited nonordered gamma forms of sorbitol, while the samples containing rod nanoparticles showed a collection of tiny needlelike crystals of gamma phase. Spherical nanoparticles precipitated beta and alpha phases of sorbitol, which were not seen in the other samples. These variations in the crystal structure resulted in an unusual wear behavior, leading to high friction and softness in the case of the nanocomposites. The nanoparticles were found to influence the crystal structure of the sorbitol matrix, resulting in mechanical and tribological behaviors.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Wear test friction results

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Figure 2

Force versus distance plot of compression testing

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Figure 3

150× optical micrographs of wear tracks on (a) reference sample, (b) rod NC, and (c) sphere NC. Arrows indicate wear pin path direction. Scale bars: 0.2 mm.

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Figure 4

Micrographs of surfaces of the ((a) and (d)) reference sample, ((b) and (e)) rod NC, and ((c), (f), and (g)) sphere NC in reflected light (((a)-(c)) scale bars: 0.1 mm) and transmitted light (((d)–(f)) scale bars: 0.2 mm) modes. Reference sample appears uniform, but NCs exhibit grainlike behavior. Higher mag image of (g) sphere NC sample is gamma adjusted to highlight striations emanating from dark grains.

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Figure 5

500× micrograph of surface inside wear track of (a) reference sample, (b) sphere NC, and (c) rod NC. Arrows indicate wear pin path direction. Scale bars: 0.1 mm.

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Figure 6

AFM topographic images of plain sorbitol (left) and sphere NC (right)

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Figure 7

XRD results for sphere NC (top), rod NC (middle), and reference sample (bottom). Primary phase peak locations reported in literature are represented by vertical gray lines. (a) depicts higher diffraction angle peaks, while (b) shows smaller angle peaks.

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Figure 8

Possible chemical interactions between citrate capped Au NP and sorbitol molecules. The citrate present on the NP surface as a result of NP synthesis can induce ordering of sorbitol molecules around NPs through H bonding between OH groups (top) or polar bonding with COO− groups (bottom). The resultant ordering is evidenced in both the surface morphology and the nucleation of different polymorphs.



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