In an effort to study the role of strain rate response on the tribological behavior of metals, room temperature experiments were conducted by sliding commercially pure titanium and a-iron pins against an H-11 die steel flats of various surface textures. The steel flat surface textures were specifically prepared to allow for imposing varying amounts of strain rates at the contacting interface during sliding motion. In the experiments, it was observed that titanium (a harder material than iron) formed a transfer layer on H-11 steel surface textures that produced higher strain rates. In contrast, the titanium pins abraded the steel surfaces that produced lower strain rates. The iron pins were found to abrade the H-11 steel surface regardless of the surface texture characteristics. This unique tribological behavior of titanium is likely due to the fact that titanium undergoes adiabatic shear banding at high strain rates, which creates pathways for lower resistance shear planes. These shear planes lead to fracture and transfer layer formation on the surface of the steel flat, which ultimately promotes a higher strain rate of deformation at the asperity level. Iron does not undergo adiabatic shear banding and thus more naturally abrades the surfaces. Overall, the results clear indicated that a materials strain rate response can be an important factor in controlling the tribological behavior of a plastically deforming material at the asperity level.

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