Influence of a Diamond-Like Carbon-Coated Mechanical Part on the Operation of an Orbital Hydraulic Motor in Water

E. Strmčnik, F. Majdič, M. Kalin

Metals 2019, 9(4), 466


The increasing focus on reducing the environmental impact of hydraulic applications has driven efforts to apply new surface-engineering technologies and replace classic lubricants with alternative solutions. In particular, water has gained increasing attention in recent years. However, water has very poor lubrication properties and, especially in combination with steel/steel contact, it leads to severe tribological behavior. A literature review and preliminary research showed that appropriate surface engineering regarding diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings represents a promising solution to overcome the limitation of steel/steel contacts in water. Basic tribological ball-on-disc tests were performed. The result of the tribological investigation showed that there was very low friction and wear in the steel/DLC contact in water. This was our motivation for using DLC coating in a real hydraulic application. The DLC was deployed on the floating outer ring, so steel/DLC contacts between the floating outer ring and three other important parts were created. It was proven that the poor lubrication properties of the water were overcome with appropriate surface engineering. In such a case, the hydraulic motor operated satisfactorily when the water was applied as a working fluid.


Keywords: diamond-like carbon; efficiency; orbital hydraulic motor; surface engineering; water

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