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Research Papers: Micro-Nano Tribology

Evaluation of Tribological Properties of Organoclay Reinforced UHMWPE Nanocomposites

[+] Author and Article Information
Abdul Samad Mohammed

Mechanical Engineering Department,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran 34464, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: samad@kfupm.edu.sa

Annas bin Ali

Mechanical Engineering Department,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran 34464, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: g201305650@kfupm.edu.sa

Merah Nesar

Mechanical Engineering Department,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran 34464, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: nesar@kfupm.edu.sa

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received September 29, 2015; final manuscript received February 27, 2016; published online July 26, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Dae-Eun Kim.

J. Tribol 139(1), 012001 (Jul 26, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: TRIB-15-1346; doi: 10.1115/1.4033188 History: Received September 29, 2015; Revised February 27, 2016

The current study is aimed to investigate the tribological properties of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) reinforced with organoclay Cloisite (C15A). Nanocomposites are prepared using a high energy ball milling process followed by hot pressing. Three different loadings of 0.5 wt.%, 1.5 wt.%, and 3 wt.% of C15A, respectively, are used as reinforcement. Results from the ball-on-disk wear tests showed that nanocomposites reinforced with 1.5 wt.% of C15A exhibited best wear resistance and lower coefficient of friction (COF), with C15A reducing the wear rate by 41% and the COF by 38%, when compared to the pristine UHMWPE. These improvements are attributed to the uniform dispersion of the nanosized clay platelets preventing large-scale material removal and formation of a thin tenacious, continuous transfer film on the counterface for C15A organoclay composites. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and optical profilometry are used to characterize the morphology of the nanocomposites and the wear tracks. SEM images of worn surfaces indicated more abrasive wear for the case of pristine UHMWPE as compared to organoclay composites.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

XRD spectrum for pristine UHMWPE. Inset—SEM micrograph of the pristine UHMWPE powder particles.

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Fig. 2

XRD spectrum for C15A organoclay and different loadings of C15A reinforced UHMWPE nanocomposites. Inset: chemical structure of the organic modifier for C15A.

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Fig. 3

Variation of Shore D hardness for pristine UHMWPE and different loadings of C15A reinforced UHMWPE nanocomposites

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Fig. 4

Variation in the (a) average COF, (b) specific wear rate for UHMWPE and UHMWPE nanocomposites with clay loadings of 0, 0.5, 1.5, and 3 wt.% of C15A nanoclay

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Fig. 5

Typical frictional graphs for UHMWPE and UHMWPE nanocomposites with clay loadings of 0, 0.5, 1.5, and 3 wt.% of C15A nanoclay at a normal load of 30 N and speed of 6.82 cm/s

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Fig. 6

(a)–(d) SEM images of the wear tracks at lower magnification, (e)–(h) SEM images of the wear tracks at a higher magnification, (i)–(l) optical micrographs of the counterface balls after the wear tests for the pristine UHMWPE and the different loadings of the C15A reinforced UHMWPE nanocomposites

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Fig. 7

(a)–(d) Optical 3D images of the wear track, (e)–(h) optical 2D profiles of the wear tracks, (i)–(l) optical contour images of the wear tracks for the pristine UHMWPE and the different loadings of the C15A reinforced UHMWPE nanocomposites

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Fig. 8

(a) COF for the UHMWPE/1.5 wt.% C15A nanocomposites and pristine UHMWPE with increasing normal loads (b) Variation of wear rates for the UHMWPE/1.5 wt.% C15A nanocomposites and pristine UHMWPE with increasing normal loads

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