The friction and wear properties of PTFE and POM were investigated using a ball-on-steel ring tester under dry conditions and conditions lubricated by paraffin and 10W-30 oils. SEM, EDAX, FT-IR and surface wettability techniques were used to characterize and assess the morphology and chemical composition of the original surfaces as well as wear track, transfer film and wear debris for different loads and speeds. Although the friction was high, similar behaviours to those reported were observed. The experimentally determined surface temperature of the plastic revealed optimum loading levels for each sliding speed at which the friction and wear rates become minimal and the thermal effect stabilizes. In boundary-like lubrication using both oils, friction and wear were significantly reduced with the exception of an increase in wear rate with load when POM was lubricated with 10W-30 oil. Surface analysis revealed that the formation of lubricious protective layers on the surfaces in contact is crucial to reducing friction and more importantly wear. FT-IR results confirmed that film transfer occurs in the case of POM.

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