Tribology of Mechanical Systems: A Guide to Present and Future Technologies
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Advanced engineering ceramics such as silicon nitride (Si3N4), silicon carbide (SiC), alumina (Al2O3) and zirconia (ZrO2), which are made by modern fine manufacturing technology, have large hardness (Hv > 15 GPa) and acceptable toughness (KIC > 4 MPam0.5) properties that are useful for practical tribo-elements.
Although the toughness of these ceramics is not yet large enough to ensure reliable operation of machine elements under macroscopic tensile stress, it is large enough to ensure that of the tribo-elements, which work mainly under macroscopically compressive contact stress.
Ceramic tribo-elements show excellent performance from the viewpoint of low friction and/or low wear during operation at high speed, high temperature, and in corrosive or erosive environment.