To select tribological materials for use in clean environments, dust-generation properties from rolling-sliding elements made of silicon nitride ceramics and stainless steel were investigated. The rolling-sliding testing apparatus was used to investigate dust-generation properties of basic rolling-sliding elements. The number of dust particles generated increases rapidly with the percentage of sliding, or with what is called sliding rate in the rolling-sliding tests. Compared with pure martensitic stainless steel (440C) and silicon nitride (Si3N4), the combination of stainless steel and silicon nitride generates the least amount of dust PFPE grease lubrication drastically reduces the number of dust particles larger than 0.1 μm diameter. Dust generation increases with friction and wear volume. The generated dust volume is about 1/200 to 1/300 of the wear volume of a specimen without lubricant. This indicates that the dust particles were formed mainly by sliding.

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