Friction and wear are responsible for around 23% of the energy consumption in transportation, manufacturing, power generation, and residential sectors. Employed components are exposed to a wide range of operational conditions, therefore a suitable material design is fundamental to decreasing tribological issues, energy consumption, costs, and environmental impact. This study aims to analyze the effect of different solid lubricants on the suitability of copper matrix composites (CuMCs) as a potential solution to reduce the depletion of sliding electrical contacts working under extreme conditions. CuMCs samples are produced by cold-pressing and sintering to merge a high electrical conductivity with the lubricant effect supplied by different species, namely tungsten disulfide micro-powder (WS2), inorganic fullerene-like (IF) tungsten disulfide nanoparticles, and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP). The crystalline structure of the pristine and composite materials is characterized via XRD. The electrical tests show a small decrease of conductivity compared to pure copper, due to the insulating effect of WS2; however, the measured values are still adequate for conduction purposes. Micro-scratch and wear tests highlight the positive effect of the combination of WS2 structures and GNP. The friction coefficient reduction leads to the possibility of extending the lifetime of the components.

Employment of Micro- and Nano-WS2 Structures to Enhance the Tribological Properties of Copper Matrix Composites

Freschi, Marco;Di Virgilio, Matteo;Mariani, Marco;Lecis, Nora;Dotelli, Giovanni
2021-01-01

Abstract

Friction and wear are responsible for around 23% of the energy consumption in transportation, manufacturing, power generation, and residential sectors. Employed components are exposed to a wide range of operational conditions, therefore a suitable material design is fundamental to decreasing tribological issues, energy consumption, costs, and environmental impact. This study aims to analyze the effect of different solid lubricants on the suitability of copper matrix composites (CuMCs) as a potential solution to reduce the depletion of sliding electrical contacts working under extreme conditions. CuMCs samples are produced by cold-pressing and sintering to merge a high electrical conductivity with the lubricant effect supplied by different species, namely tungsten disulfide micro-powder (WS2), inorganic fullerene-like (IF) tungsten disulfide nanoparticles, and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP). The crystalline structure of the pristine and composite materials is characterized via XRD. The electrical tests show a small decrease of conductivity compared to pure copper, due to the insulating effect of WS2; however, the measured values are still adequate for conduction purposes. Micro-scratch and wear tests highlight the positive effect of the combination of WS2 structures and GNP. The friction coefficient reduction leads to the possibility of extending the lifetime of the components.
solid lubricants, friction, wear, inorganic fullerenes, nanoparticles, composite material
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1173298
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