Mechanical characterization of friction and wear properties of nanocomposites
Songbo Xu1, Aydar Akchurin1, Annie X.W. Tangpong1, Iskander Akhatov1, Tian Liu2, Weston Wood2 and Wei-Hong Zhong2
1Department of Mechanical Engineering
North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108
2School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164
With the average lifespan of artificial joint replacements being about 20 years, there is a critical need for inventing new materials that will increase the service life of those joints. Carbon nanofiber (CNF) reinforced composites offer the promise as materials with less friction and lower wear rate compared to pure polymers. High density polyethylene (HDPE) nanocomposite samples were fabricated with various weight concentrations of carbon nanofibers (0.5%, 1% and 3%) that were treated with different silane coating thicknesses through melt-mixing and compressive processing. Wear and friction tests were performed on a pin-on-disc tribometer under phosphate buffered saline lubricated condition, as well as the dry condition. The coefficients of friction of the nanocomposites were found to decrease significantly compared to the pure HDPE. The method of calculating the wear rate was discussed and the wear rates of the samples were compared. The temperature change of the sample surfaces was monitored during the dry wear testing process and the results contribute to understanding of the thermal properties of CNF-reinforced nanocomposites.