Polymer composites are increasingly used as sliding materials for high-loaded bearings, however, their tribological characteristics are most commonly determined from small-scale laboratory tests. The static strength and dynamic coefficients of friction for polyester/polyester composite elements are presently studied on large-scale test equipment for determination of its bearing capacity and failure mechanisms under overload conditions. Original test samples have a diameter of 250 mm and thickness of 40 mm, corresponding to the practical implementation in the sliding surfaces of a ball-joint, and are tested at various scales for simulation of edge effects and repeatability of test results. Static tests reveal complete elastic recovery after loading to 120 MPa, plastic deformation after loading at 150 MPa and overload at 200 MPa. This makes present composite favorable for use under high loads, compared to, e.g., glass-fibre reinforced materials. Sliding tests indicate stick-slip for pure bulk composites and more stable sliding when PTFE lubricants are added. Dynamic overload occurs above 120 MPa due to an expansion of the nonconstrained top surface. A molybdenum-disulphide coating on the steel counterface is an effective lubricant for lower dynamic friction, as it favorably impregnates the composite sliding surface, while it is not effective at high loads as the coating is removed after sliding and high initial static friction is observed. Also a zinc phosphate thermoplastic coating cannot be applied to the counterface as it adheres strongly to the composite surface with consequently high initial friction and coating wear. Most stable sliding is observed against steel counterfaces, with progressive formation of a lubricating transfer film at higher loads due to exposure of PTFE lubricant. Composite wear mechanisms are mainly governed by thermal degradation of the thermosetting matrix (max. 162°C) with shear and particle detachment by the brittle nature of polyester rather than plastic deformation. The formation of a sliding film protects against fiber failure up to 150 MPa, while overload results in interlaminar shear, debonding, and ductile fiber pull-out.
Large-Scale Evaluation of Constrained Bearing Elements Made of Thermosetting Polyester Resin and Polyester Fabric Reinforcement
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Samyn, P., Van Paepegem, W., Leendertz, J. S., Gerber, A., Van Schepdael, L., Degrieck, J., and De Baets, P. (June 14, 2006). "Large-Scale Evaluation of Constrained Bearing Elements Made of Thermosetting Polyester Resin and Polyester Fabric Reinforcement." ASME. J. Tribol. October 2006; 128(4): 681–696. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2345413
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