Several kinds of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) composites are currently being used in reciprocating hydrogen gas compressors as seal material which should articulate against metal counterfaces in pressurized hydrogen gas. Although their friction and wear behavior has large impact on the efficiency and reliability of gas compressors, available information about tribological characteristics of PTFE composites in high pressure hydrogen gas is quite limited. In this study, friction and wear of graphite filled PTFE and bronze filled PTFE were evaluated in the 40 MPa hydrogen gas environment by using a pin-on-disk type apparatus enclosed in a high pressure vessel to supply experimental data for the design of gas compressors in hydrogen fuelling stations. AISI316L austenitic stainless steel disk was used as a sliding counterface. All experiments were conducted under dry condition with the average contact pressure of 1.8 MPa, the sliding speed of 100 mm/s and the gas temperature of 327 K. The friction force exerted between PTFE composites and stainless steel was evaluated by a load cell during the experiment and the wear rate of composites was evaluated from the weight loss of pin specimens. In addition, chemical analysis of the polymer transfer film formed on the disk surface were conducted by using X-ray photoelectron spectrometer. Friction and wear tests were also conducted in 40 MPa helium gas for comparison. Results indicated that bronze filled PTFE was more sensitive to the gas pressure and gas species; it showed good friction and wear behavior in high pressure hydrogen, although friction in high pressure helium became very high. On the other hand, the effects of high pressure gas environment were relatively small for the friction and wear of graphite filled PTFE.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.