The objective of this study is to characterize and understand the evolutionary processes that produce changes in the friction and surface damage in materials for possible use as heavy duty diesel fuel injector plungers. This work has involved the development of test methods to impart reciprocating motion to various metals, ceramics, and coated specimens in the presence of diesel fuel-like fluids. Commercial and candidate plunger materials, including 52100 steel, zirconia, cermets (TiC in Ni 3 Al matrix), and TiN coatings, were evaluated on a crossed-cylinders-like scuffing test we call the ‘pin-on-twin’ geometry. Contacts were lubricated by on-highway #2 diesel and Jet A aviation fuels. Using friction-based criteria, the material ranking was in good agreement with field experience with actual injectors from the diesel engine industry. Zirconia and cermets exhibited promising scuffing resistance in both fuels. Scuffing generally became more severe in the Jet A fuel. Experimental results indicated that smoother surfaces that are required to sustain higher injection pressures could be more vulnerable to scuffing due to their thinner lubricant films. Material transfer was the major scuffing mechanism of zirconia, cermets, and TiN coatings against steel. Micro-scratches were also observed on the matrix material of cermets.
Tribology International – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2005
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