This paper outlines a preliminary case study which examines the effect of friction on select thermoplastics during high load, low velocity, and dry sliding wear applications. The primary factors investigated were temperature increase, mass loss, and surface condition of the material. The goal of this research is to identify the best material choice for this application. Eight different thermoplastics were observed in this study. The thermoplastics include variations of polyethylene (PE), polyamide (Nylon), and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). An overarching goal of this study is to develop a standard wear property table for the select thermoplastics, as they are not readily available like material property tables for other materials.
The results obtained show that the temperature of the materials generally increased over time, with some materials experiencing greater temperature increase than others. The PTFE materials exhibited the most substantial material loss while the PE materials had the highest increase in temperature during the testing period. Most Nylon composites generated noise during testing, with the exception of one variant: Bearing Grade Nylon. After all factors were considered, Bearing Grade Nylon was chosen for the aforementioned application due to its negligible mass loss, minor surface damage, and temperature increase relative to other thermoplastics tested throughout all trials.