We show that copper-matrix composites that contain 20 vol. % of an in situ processed, polymer-derived, ceramic phase constituted from Si-C-N have unusual friction-and-wear properties. They show negligible wear despite a coefficient of friction (COF) that approaches 0.7. This behavior is ascribed to the lamellar structure of the composite such that the interlamellar regions are infused with nanoscale dispersion of ceramic particles. There is significant hardening of the composite just adjacent to the wear surface by severe plastic deformation.

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