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Linking Tribofilm Nanomechanics to the Origin of Low Friction and Wear
Final rept. 15 Jun 2010-14 Jun 2013
DELAWARE UNIV NEWARK DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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Solid lubricants are required in applications where traditional lubricants are precluded by challenging environmental conditions e.g. space. However, the mechanisms that enable low friction and low wear sliding of these systems remain poorly understood. Recent studies have demonstrated low friction sliding is consistently accompanied by nanoscale tribo-films whose properties and contributions to friction reduction are unknown. The goal of this study was to elucidate the role of nanoscale tribofilms in friction and wear reduction by correlating macroscale tribological properties with the results of in-situ measurements of transfer film morphology, chemistry, and nanomechanical properties. The materials included molybdenum disulfide MoS2 and polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE, two very different but well studied and heavily used solid lubricants known for exceptional tribological characteristics. The tools used for the study included in-situ optical microscopy morphology, interferometry topography, and lateral force microscopy tribology. A significant portion of the work was the development of a lateral force microscopy LFM calibration technique to enable quantitative and in-situ LFM measurements.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE