Date of Award

Fall 2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

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

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Roman Dubrovsky

Second Advisor

Pasquale J. Florio

Third Advisor

Avraham Harnoy

Fourth Advisor

Bernard Koplik

Fifth Advisor

Melvin L. Zwillenberg

Abstract

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.

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