Surfactant-induced friction reduction for hydrogels in the boundary lubrication regime

Kosuke Kamada, Hidemitsu Furukawa, Takayuki Kurokawa, Tomohiro Tada, Taiki Tominaga, Yukihiro Nakano, Jian Ping Gong
2011 Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter  
We studied the ability of surfactants to reduce friction by boundary lubrication for a bulk hydrogel sliding on a solid surface in aqueous solution. A piece of negatively charged polyelectrolyte hydrogel was slid across solid surfaces with various levels of hydrophobicity, using a strain-controlled parallel-plate rheometer in water. A dramatic reduction in the sliding friction, especially in the lowvelocity region, was detected by the addition of a surfactant to the water medium. This friction
more » ... eduction was only observed in gel-solid friction but not in solid-solid friction, indicating that the soft and wet nature of the gel surface was crucial for this surfactant-induced friction reduction. This phenomenon reveals that surfactants can remain at the gel-mated interface, thus preventing direct interfacial interaction between the sliding surfaces, and significantly decreases the frictional stress. The reported dramatic reduction in friction highlights the frictional characteristics of soft and wet hydrogel materials.
doi:10.1088/0953-8984/23/28/284107 pmid:21709329 fatcat:qqazgmytvvd3jkrhiqazasdkpq