Research Papers: Coatings and Solid Lubricants

Tribological Evaluation of a UHMWPE Hybrid Nanocomposite Coating Reinforced With Nanoclay and Carbon Nanotubes Under Dry Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Muhammad Umar Azam

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
King Fahd University of
Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Abdul Samad

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
King Fahd University of
Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: samad@kfupm.edu.sa

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received December 21, 2017; final manuscript received April 4, 2018; published online May 14, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Sinan Muftu.

J. Tribol 140(5), 051304 (May 14, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: TRIB-17-1489; doi: 10.1115/1.4039956 History: Received December 21, 2017; Revised April 04, 2018

A novel hybrid polymer nanocomposite coating of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) reinforced with nanoclay (C15A) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been developed to protect metallic mating surfaces in tribological applications. The hybrid nanocomposite coatings were deposited on aluminum substrates using an electrostatic spraying technique. Ball-on-disk wear tests using a 440C stainless steel ball as the counterface were conducted on the coatings under dry conditions to determine the optimum amount of the loadings of the nanofillers and evaluate their tribological performance at different normal loads and linear velocities. Micro-indentation, raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and optical profilometry techniques were used to characterize the coatings in terms of hardness, dispersion of the nanofillers, morphology, and wear mechanisms, respectively. Results showed that the UHMWPE hybrid nanocomposite coating reinforced with 1.5 wt % of C15A nanoclay and 1.5 wt % of CNTs did not fail even until 100,000 cycles at a normal load of 12 N and a linear speed of 0.1 m/s showing a significant improvement in wear resistance as compared to all other coatings evaluated in this study.

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Fig. 1

Raman spectra for pristine and hybrid nanocomposite

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Fig. 2

Field emission SEM images of the samples for dispersion analysis

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Fig. 3

Cross-sectional FE-SEM images of the coatings

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Fig. 4

Effect of different loadings of C15A/CNTs on hardness of the coatings

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Fig. 5

Average wear life and typical frictional graphs for pristine UHMWPE coatings at different loads and a linear sliding velocity of 0.1 m/s. Inset (upper left): Photographs of wear tracks on samples. Inset (lower right): Optical images of counterface sliding against samples at 10× (captured after cleaning with acetone) at the end of the sliding test.

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Fig. 6

Typical frictional graphs of sample-A (1.5 wt % C15A/UHMWPE nanocomposite) after the wear tests performed at normal load of 9 N (a) and 12 N (b) at sliding speed of 0.1 m/s. Insets: FE-SEM images of wear tracks along with EDS analysis (upper) and optical images of counterface ball after cleaning with acetone at the end of the wear test (lower).

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Fig. 7

Comparison of average wear life of hybrid nanocomposite coatings for 10,000 cycles at normal load of 12 N and a linear sliding velocity of 0.1 m/s

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Fig. 8

Typical frictional graphs of hybrid nanocomposite coatings for 10,000 cycles at normal load of 12 N and a linear sliding velocity of 0.1 m/s. Inset (left): photographs of wear tracks on samples. Inset (right): optical images of counterface at 10× (captured after cleaning with acetone) at the end of sliding test.

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Fig. 9

Comparison of average wear life of sample-C (1.5 wt % C15A/1.5 wt % CNT/UHMWPE) at normal loads of 12 and 15 N for 100,000 cycles at a linear sliding velocity of 0.1 m/s

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Fig. 10

Field emission SEM images of wear tracks of sample-C after sliding tests conducted at normal loads of 12 N (a) and 15 N (b) for 100,000 cycles. Inset (middle): EDS analysis at wear track. Inset (right): 2D-optical wear profiles of wear tracks.

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Fig. 11

Comparison of the specific wear rate of the coatings at a normal load of 12 N and a sliding velocity of 0.1 m/s

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Fig. 12

Comparison of average wear life of sample-C (1.5 wt % C15A/1.5 wt % CNT/UHMWPE) at normal loads of 12 N for 25,000 cycles at three different sliding velocities

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Fig. 13

Photographs of wear tracks on sample-C (a)–(c) along with their corresponding 3D-optical profile images (d)–(f), wear track profile depths (Z) (g)–(i) and optical counterface ball images (j)–(l) after wear test performed at a normal load of 12 N for 25,000 cycles at three different sliding velocities. Insets: cleaned counterface ball images after the wear tests.



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