ISSN 1070-4272. Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2006, Vol. 79, No. 5, pp. 695!706. + Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2006.
Original Russian Text + B.M. Ginzburg, D.G. Tochil’nikov, V.E. Bakhareva, A.V. Anisimov, O.F. Kireenko, 2006, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi
Khimii, 2006, Vol. 79, No. 5, pp. 705!716.
Polymeric Materials for Water-Lubricated Plain Bearings
B. M. Ginzburg, D. G. Tochil’nikov, V. E. Bakhareva,
A. V. Anisimov, and O. F. Kireenko
Institute of Problems in Machine Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia
Prometei Central Research Institute of Structural Materials, St. Petersburg, Russia
Received February 6, 2006
Abstract-Results of tribological studies of modern polymeric materials (thermoplastics, thermosetting ma-
terials, composites) used to fabricate water-lubricated bearings are considered. Particular attention is given
to carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics modified with powdered metals, fullerene-containing additives, and carbon
The machine-building industry has conventionally
used in friction units such metallic antifriction materi-
als as babbit alloys, bronzes, and aluminum alloys,
which can only work with oil lubricants. In recent
years, an increasingly close attention has been given
to the environmental safety of the friction units of
modern ships, hydraulic turbines, pumps, shipping
locks, and oil-extracting and oil-processing equipment
operating in water. This problem can be mostly solved
if oil lubrication of friction units is eliminated by
using such natural lubricant as water. The problem of
elimination of oil lubrication of friction units is also
important for heavy and chemical machine building,
road-building and mining machines, hoisting machin-
ery, and food, textile, perfumery, and other industries.
This review considers the main types of modern
polymeric materials used in water-lubricated bearings.
1. WATER AS A LUBRICANT
To have a general notion of lubrication with water
in sliding friction, it is of use to consider the Hersey
diagram (Fig. 1) . The diagram is the plot of
dependence of the friction coefficient on the Hersey
, where h is dynamic viscosity;
N, rotation rate or sliding velocity of counterbodies;
, contact pressure. Zones of (1) boundary and
(2) mixed friction exist to the left of the minimum
value of the friction coefficient, and (3) region of
liquid friction, to the right.
The viscosity of water is more than 100 times
lower than that of oils (Fig. 2). This means that, in
most cases of lubrication with water, bearings operate
during a considerable part of their service life under
conditions of boundary and mixed friction. The char-
acteristics of boundary and mixed friction are prima-
rily determined by the materials of the contacting
surfaces, and, therefore, their choice is exceedingly
important. However, the practical choice is governed
not only by the properties of materials, but also by
their price, simplicity of production and processing,
and design parameters of a friction unit. The concept
Fig. 1. Friction coefficient f vs. the Hersey number (Hersey
diagram) . (h) Dynamic viscosity (Pa s), (N) shaft rota-
tion rate (rpm), and (P
) normal contact pressure (MPa).
Friction region: (1) boundary, (2) mixed, and (3) liquid.