Low Friction, Lubricity, and Durability of Polymer Brush Coatings, Characterized Using the Relaxation Tribometer Technique †
Achieving low-friction and robust tribosystems is an open and challenging question to tribologists. In this study, we are considering the diamond films as candidates. Quantification of friction is obtained here using an original technique, so called the oscillating relaxation tribometry. It is based on the study of the oscillating motion of a free-damped 1-DOF mechanical oscillator, the sliding contact acting as a main source of mechanical dissipation ("relaxation"). Therefore, it is possible
... e, it is possible to determine friction value and its sliding speed dependency, i.e. a kind of "Stribeck curve" under non-stationary conditions. The interest of such "relaxation tribometer" is to characterize low friction with an unequalled sensitivity, and to directly obtain the "friction law" thanks to a robust and rapid experimental test. Polycrystalline diamond films are deposited by the Hot Filament CVD method on SiC substrate, which were partly polished and finished to gradient surface roughness with random-textured asperities. Stainless steel balls of 6.0 mm diameter are used as the rubbing counterface. The normal force is varied between 50 and 300 mN, leading respectively to a maximum Hertzian contact pressure of 0.30 and 0.71 GPa, respectively. Taking into account the experimental setup, the sliding speed is decaying as a damped pseudo-sine motion, the maximum sliding value being set to 0.16 m/s, progressively decaying to 0 when mechanical equilibrium is reached, within a typical duration of 5 s. First results are reported here, using this innovative friction characterization technique. The different contributions to friction of the surface roughness are analyzed and discussed. These results show the major interest of the use of this method to characterize the low-friction behavior of textured diamond films. These results are discussed and the high potential of such textured films in actual tribosystems is presented here.