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Research Papers: Friction & Wear

The Effect of Nanoparticles on the Real Area of Contact, Friction, and Wear

[+] Author and Article Information
Hamed Ghaednia

e-mail: ghaednia@auburn.edu

Robert L. Jackson

e-mail: jacksr7@auburn.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Auburn University, 1418 Wiggins Hall,
Auburn, AL 36849

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Tribology. Manuscript received October 24, 2012; final manuscript received April 16, 2013; published online August 6, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Hong Liang.

J. Tribol 135(4), 041603 (Aug 06, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: TRIB-12-1187; doi: 10.1115/1.4024297 History: Received October 24, 2012; Revised April 16, 2013

Although nanoparticle additives have been the topic of multiple studies recently, very little work has attempted to explicitly model the third body contact of nanoparticles. This work presents and uses a novel methodology to model nanoparticles in contact between rough surfaces. The model uses two submodels to handle different scales of contact, namely the nano-sized particles and micrometer-sized roughness features. Silicon nanoparticles suspended in conventional lubricant are modeled in contact between steel rough surfaces. The effect of the particles on contact force and real area of contact has been modeled. The model makes predictions of the coefficient of friction and wear using fundamental models. The results suggest that particles would reduce the real area of contact and, therefore, decrease the friction force. Also, particles could induce abrasive wear by scratching the surfaces. The implications of the model are also discussed, and the arguments and results have been linked to available experimental data. This work finds that particle size and distribution are playing a key role in tribology characteristics of the nanolubricants.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Illustration of stacked rough surface and statistical model

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the spherical particle contact mechanics

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Fig. 3

Schematic of the overall contact problem

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the particle abrasive wear

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Fig. 5

The effect of particle concentration (a) and particle average size (b) on the real contact area versus contact force

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Fig. 6

The effect of particle distribution on the real area of contact

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Fig. 7

Fractured particles as a function of surface separation

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Fig. 8

The effect of surface roughness on (a) the real area of contact versus contact force and (b) change in the real area of contact as the result of nanoparticles

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Fig. 9

Coefficient of friction and particle induced wear versus nanoparticle content

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Fig. 10

Particle induced wear (a) and coefficient of friction (b) changing with particle average size and distribution

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Fig. 11

Surface profile (a) and fast Fourier transform analysis (b) of one of the surfaces used in this paper

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