Fretting wear of silicon nitride against bearing steel contacts in lubricated and dry conditions

M. Kalin, J. Vižintin, S. Novak

Tribologia 15 (1996) 42–60.


Wear and friction behaviour of silicon nitride against bearing steel was investigated under lubricated and dry fretting conditions as a function of amplitude and test duration. Light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were employed to determine the wear mechanisms. In lubricated conditions at smaller amplitudes cracks were found on the stick-slip boundary and a small amount of tribochemical reaction product was observed only in the later stage of fretting on the initially cracked surface. In dry fretting the wear mechanism is different from that observed in lubricated conditions. Due to the higher temperature in dry contacts than in lubricated conditions, chemical reaction of iron with silicon nitride determined the wear and friction behaviour from the very beginning of the test at all amplitudes.

Keywords: fretting wear, silicon nitride, bearing steel, lubricated conditions, dry conditions

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