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Technical Brief

Self-Lubricating and Friction Performance of a Three-Dimensional-Printed Journal Bearing

[+] Author and Article Information
Yeong-Jae Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Inha University,
4-132A, 100 Inha-ro, Nam-Gu
Incheon 22212, South Korea
e-mail: InhaLeeYJ@gmail.com

Kwang-Hee Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Inha University,
4-132A, 100 Inha-ro, Nam-Gu,
Incheon 22212, South Korea
e-mail: Gwanghee.yee@gmail.com

Chul-Hee Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Inha University,
2N269B, 100 Inha-ro, Nam-Gu
Incheon 22212, South Korea
e-mail: chulhee@inha.ac.kr

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received December 15, 2017; final manuscript received April 12, 2018; published online May 14, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Yi Zhu.

J. Tribol 140(5), 054501 (May 14, 2018) (6 pages) Paper No: TRIB-17-1483; doi: 10.1115/1.4039995 History: Received December 15, 2017; Revised April 12, 2018

In recent years, through the development of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology, 3D‐printed parts have been used in various industries, such as medical equipment and robotics. Various 3D printing methods have been developed. Today, a 3D printer can be used even in precision parts, such as bolts and bearings. In this study, journal bearings are manufactured by a 3D printer to evaluate friction performance and self-lubricating performance. The journal bearings are fabricated using two types of 3D printing method: fused deposition modeling (FDM) and selective laser sintering (SLS). The specimens manufactured by FDM are produced by plastic materials with three-layer thicknesses. Nylon-based materials and aluminum-based materials are used to fabricate the SLS specimen. Micropores are created in the specimens during the printing process. Therefore, the self-lubricating performance can occur by micropores. The experimental setup is designed and constructed to evaluate the friction performance by varying rotational speed and the radial load. Through this study, the self-lubricating performance and friction performance of 3D-printed journal bearings are evaluated, and proper operating conditions for 3D-printed bearings are suggested.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Images of 3D-printed specimens using (a) FDM, (b) SLS-nylon, and (c) SLS-aluminum

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Fig. 2

SEM images of the 3D-printed specimens: (a) FDM specimen, (b) SLS-nylon specimen, and (c) SLS-aluminum specimen

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Fig. 3

Experimental setup for the 3D-printed bearing: 1—motor controller and indicator, 2—torque indicator, 3—thermocouple indicator, 4—load cell indicator, 5—motor, 6—torque transducer, 7—load cell, and 8—thermocouple

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Fig. 4

Schematic diagram of mechanism for applying radial load

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Fig. 5

Experimental result of the FDM specimen under (a) 500 rpm, 30 N and (b) 700 rpm, 30 N

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Fig. 6

Result of a comparison among different lubricating conditions (700 rpm, 30 N)

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Fig. 7

Result of a comparison with FDM and SLS (500 rpm, 10N)

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Fig. 8

Sectional images of 3D-printed journal bearings: (a) sectional SEM image of SLS-nylon and (a) sectional SEM image of SLS-aluminum

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