Recent advances in smart surface engineering and coating technologies offer unique possibilities for better controlling friction and wear under boundary or marginally lubricated rolling, sliding or rotating contact conditions. Specifically, such coatings can be tailored to meet the increasingly multi-functional application needs of future engine systems by enabling them to operate in lower viscosity oils with reduced sulfur and phosphorous. Using these technologies, researchers have already pioneered the development of a variety of nano-composite and super-hard coatings providing longer tool life in demanding machining and manufacturing applications. The same technologies can also be used in the design and development of novel coating architectures providing lower friction and wear under boundary-lubricated sliding conditions. For example, such coatings can be tailored in a very special way that while one of the phases can favorably react with certain additives in engine oils to result in an ideal chemical boundary film; the other phases can provide super-hardness and hence resists wear and scuffing. Because of their very dense microstructure and high chemical inertness, these coatings can also provide superior protection against oxidation and corrosive attacks in aggressive environments. The use of solid lubricant coatings may also improve the tribological properties of sliding contact interfaces under boundary lubricated sliding conditions. When fluid and boundary films fails or is broken down, such coatings can carry the load and act as a back-up lubricant. Other smart surface technologies such as laser texturing and/or dimpling, laser-glazing and -shotpeening have also become very popular in recent years. In particular, laser texturing of control or coated surfaces have opened up new possibilities for further manipulation of the lubrication regimes in classical Stribeck diagrams. Controlling dimple size, shape, orientation, and density, researchers were able to modify both the width and the height of the boundary lubrication regimes and thus achieve lower friction and wear at sliding and rotating contact interfaces. Overall, smart surface engineering and coating technologies have matured over the years and they now become an integral part of advanced machining and manufacturing applications. They can also be used to meet the increasingly stringent and multi-functional application needs of demanding tribological applications. In this paper, selected examples of recently developed novel surface engineering and coating technologies are introduced, and the fundamental tribological mechanisms that control their friction and wear behavior under boundary lubrication regimes are presented.
Tribology International – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2005
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