Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2004

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Roman Dubrovsky

Second Advisor

Pasquale J. Florio

Third Advisor

Avraham Harnoy

Fourth Advisor

Bernard Koplik

Fifth Advisor

Melvin L. Zwillenberg


Fullerenes, a new form of carbon nanomaterials, possess unique physical and mechanical properties that make their use as additives to liquid lubricants potentially beneficial. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of fullerene containing lubricants on wear resistance of steel-bronze couples operating under boundary lubrication conditions. A mathematical model of deformed asperity contact was built to calculate real contact area and real contact pressure. Computer controlled wear friction testing methodology and equipment were designed, developed and implemented for obtaining reliable and objective experimental data. In addition, optical and scanning electron microscopy and standard surface texture analysis were employed. Heavy duty motor oil SAE 10 was modified by admixing fullerenes C60, a fullerene mixture of C60 and C70, fullerene containing soot, and graphite powder. The experiments showed that all of the selected fullerene additives dissolved in liquid lubricants reduce wear of the tested materials. In addition, it was found that despite improvements in wear resistance, the selected modified lubricants did not significantly change friction characteristics.

Improvement of wear resistance of contact surfaces operating with fullerene modified lubricants can be explained by the presence of fullerenes in real contact while the liquid lubricant is squeezed out. Fullerenes are considered to function as minute hard particles that do not break down under applied normal force, and tend to separate direct contact of functional surfaces of selected materials.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.