Effect of the slide-to-roll ratio and the contact kinematics on the elastohydrodynamic friction in diamond-like-carbon contacts with different wetting behaviours

M. Polajnar, M. Kalin

Tribology Letters 60 (2015) 1-10.


In this paper, we show how the slide-to-roll ratio (SRR), the contact kinematics and the surface energy all have important effects on the elastohydrodynamic friction. As reported previously, diamond-like-carbon (DLC) contacts of the type DLC/DLC provide the lowest coefficient of friction, in particular those DLC materials with the lowest surface energies (three different DLC coatings were used in this study). A friction reduction of up to 48 %, compared to a steel/steel contact, was obtained. A surprising new finding from this investigation is that the friction in DLC contacts is significantly reduced for high SRRs, i.e. a difference of up to 27 % was measured in the DLC/DLC contacts when the SRR increased from 0.5 (rolling prevails) to 1.8 (sliding prevails). However, even more surprising is the effect of the SRR on the friction in mixed steel/DLC contacts, which is related to the contact design and its kinematics. We found that if the DLC is coated on the slower surface, a high SRR will not reduce the friction to any significant extent, typically about 5 %, and at most 13 %, compared to steel/steel contacts. However, a significant friction reduction is observed when applying a low-surface-energy DLC coating to the faster surface—on average about 20 % and as high as 33 %. In this case (a high SRR and DLC on the faster surface), mixed steel/DLC surfaces can experience a very similar friction as that seen for DLC/DLC contacts. Qualitatively, the same behaviour was found for both positive and negative SRR values.

Keywords: EHD lubrication, DLC, Surface energy, Wetting, Slide-to-roll ratio

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11249-015-0593-3

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