Research Papers

Wear of Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced HDPE Nanocomposites Under Dry Sliding Condition

[+] Author and Article Information
Aydar Akchurin

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
North Dakota State University,
Fargo, ND 58108

Weston Wood, Wei-Hong Zhong

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
Washington State University,
Pullman, WA 99164

X. W. Tangpong

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
North Dakota State University,
Fargo, ND 58108
e-mail: Annie.Tangpong@ndsu.edu

Iskander S. Akhatov

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
North Dakota State University,
Fargo, ND 58108;
Center for Micro and Nanoscale
Dynamics of Dispersed Systems,
Bashkir State University,
Ufa 450076, Russia

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 7, 2012; final manuscript received December 11, 2012; published online March 26, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Mu Chiao.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 3(4), 041003 (Mar 26, 2013) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4023244 History: Received May 07, 2012; Revised December 11, 2012

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is widely used as a bearing material in industrial application because of its low friction and high wear resistance properties. Carbon nanofiber (CNF) reinforced HDPE nanocomposites are promising materials for biomedical applications as well, such as being the bearing materials in total joint replacements. The main objective of the present study is to investigate how the wear of HDPE can be altered by the addition of either pristine or silane treated CNFs at different loading levels (0.5 wt. % and 3 wt. %). Two types of silane coating thicknesses, 2.8 nm and 46 nm, were applied on the surfaces of oxidized CNFs to improve the interfacial bonding strength between the CNFs and the matrix. The CNF/HDPE nanocomposites were prepared through melt mixing and hot-pressing. The coefficients of friction (COFs) and wear rates of the neat HDPE and CNF/HDPE nanocomposites were determined using a pin-on-disc tribometer under dry sliding conditions. The microstructures of the worn surfaces of the nanocomposites were characterized using both scanning electron microscope (SEM) and optical microscope to analyze their wear mechanisms. Compared with the neat HDPE, the COF of the nanocomposites were reduced. The nanocomposite reinforced with CNFs coated with the thicker silane coating (46 nm) at 0.5 wt. % loading level was found to yield the highest wear resistance with a wear rate reduction of nearly 68% compared to the neat HDPE.

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Fig. 1

Variations of the coefficients of friction over time

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Fig. 2

Comparison of the coefficients of friction of the seven materials

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Fig. 3

An example (T1-05) of the dissipated energy due to friction

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Fig. 4

Comparison of the total dissipated energy of the seven materials

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Fig. 5

Comparison of the wear rates of the seven materials by (a) specific wear rate and (b) specific wear volume

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Fig. 6

SEM micrographs of the worn surfaces of (a) T1-05 and (b) P-3

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Fig. 7

Load-deflection curve of the nanocomposite T1-05

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Fig. 8

Comparison of the plastic deformation energy of the seven materials

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Fig. 9

Relationship between the wear rate (y) and plastic deformation energy (x) from the indentation testing; a and b are constants where a = 1.966 ×10-7 and b = 1.5127 ×10-7

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Fig. 10

Optical microscopy of the worn surfaces and wear debris of three materials: neat HDPE ((a) and (b)), T1-05 ((c) and (d)), and P-3 ((e) and (f))

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Fig. 11

Illustrations of the wear mechanisms of (a) neat HDPE, (b) T1-05, and (c) P-3



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