The tribological characteristics of various aluminum alloys, surface treated 356 aluminum alloy and an aluminum composite are evaluated in lubricant/refrigerant (L/R) mixtures. The evaluation is based on a cylindrical pin/disc line contact geometry. This research program consists of two parts. The first part focuses mainly on materials screening of various aluminum/steel contact pairs lubricated by polyolester/R134a (tetrafluoroethane) and polyalkylene glycol (PAG)/R134a mixtures. For the aluminum alloys tested, the 390-T6 die cast alloy shows the best wear resistance. In general, the amount of wear decreases as the amount of silicon content in AlSi alloys increases. Conventional anodizing does not improve the wear resistance of the 356 aluminum alloy under concentrated contacts. Hard anodizing of 356 and a SiCAl composite provide very good wear resistance, however, they cause increased wear on the counterface. From the wear results obtained, the Ester/R134a mixtures consistently provide better protection of the aluminum alloys compared to the PAG/R134a mixtures. If sufficient amount of R134a exists in the L/R mixture, extensive surface fatigue on 356 aluminum is observed. In the second part, 356-T61 and 390-T61 aluminum alloys are tested in various L/R mixtures. The L/R mixtures tested include ester and PAG lubricants with R134a, mineral and alkylbenzene lubricants with R22 (chlorodifluoromethane), R407C (mixture of difluoromethane, pentafluoroethane and tetrafluoroethane) and R41A (mixture of difluoromethane and pentafluoromethane), as well as ester lubricant with both R407C and R410A. Based on the wear data obtained, the capped PAG seems to be a better lubricant for 356 alloy than the uncapped PAG. However, the lubricity of the PAG's is about the same with the 390 alloy. When the ester lubricant is used, the wear on each alloy is about the same in R134a, R407C, R410A and air environments. There is no significant difference in lubricity of mineral and alkylbenzene lubricants when used with R22 and its possible substitutes R407C and R410A.
Wear – Elsevier
Published: Jun 15, 1998
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