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Wear study of field worn clutch actuators and evaluation of a model test
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (Tribomaterial)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (Tribomaterial)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (Tribomaterial)
2009 (English)In: Wear, ISSN 0043-1648, E-ISSN 1873-2577, Vol. 267, no 12, 2269-2272 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pneumatic clutch actuators, employed in trucks, have been investigated. The surfaces of the inside of the anodised aluminium cylinders, of the lip seals and of the guiding rings have been studied by SEM and optical microscopy. For most of the actuators no significant wear was revealed. However, one actuator, with leakage problems, was severely worn. An extensive amount of scratches was found on the cylinder surface, the thickness of the guiding ring had decreased and large parts were missing from the lip seal. A possible explanation is that particles have entered the system thus altering the contact conditions. A test setup was developed to investigate how particles present in the system affect the wear. A part of the piston, with lip seal and guiding ring, slides against a part of the anodised aluminium cylinder in a back- and forward motion. Pure silicone grease lubricated tests resulted in no wear. Tests with added dust particles resulted in distinct scratches on the aluminium surface and embedded particles in the guiding ring and the lip seal. These tests provide results in good agreement with the wear revealed in the investigations of used actuators and support the theory that wear is caused by particles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 267, no 12, 2269-2272 p.
Keyword [en]
clutch actuator, anodised aluminium, rubber, PTFE, dust particles
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-111835DOI: 10.1016/j.wear.2009.04.008ISI: 000272810200016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-111835DiVA: diva2:283338
Available from: 2009-12-23 Created: 2009-12-23 Last updated: 2013-07-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tribological Aspects of Pneumatic Clutch Actuators
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tribological Aspects of Pneumatic Clutch Actuators
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A clutch actuator is used in a vehicle to transmit movement and force from the clutch pedal to the release bearing of the clutch. A pneumatic clutch actuator consists of an anodised aluminium cylinder, inside of which a piston, with a rubber lip seal and a PTFE guiding ring, slides. The system is lubricated with silicone grease before assembly. A commercial clutch actuator of this type, has a service life of 3 million actuations and must function in a wide temperature range, from -40 ºC to 140 ºC.

In this thesis, the complex tribological system of pneumatic clutch actuators has been studied. Field worn actuators have been disassembled and investigated. A laboratory test method has been developed to understand the tribomechanisms present in pneumatic clutch actuators. The test method's capability of simulating the real contact has been verified, by the comparison with studied actuators from the field. The influence of contact parameters: temperature, load, lubrication and particle contamination, has been investigated. In addition, different anodised aluminium surfaces have been studied.

The manufacturing method of the aluminium cylinder influences surface topography and structure of the oxide, resulting in different mechanical and frictional properties.

The wear during tests with only silicone grease is reminiscent, but on a lower scale, to the wear during tests with a mixture of silicone grease and standard dust.

The initially applied amount of silicone grease is not important, the friction seems to depend on the amount of silicone grease that is dragged into or pushed out from the contact area during testing. Silicone grease lubrication reduces wear of the lip seal. However, during some tests, an adhesive layer, composed of  grease residuals and some PTFE, was formed on the lip.

A triple PTFE transfer, from guiding ring to aluminium surface, to lip seal, to aluminium surface, occurred. Such transfer of material from the PTFE guiding ring was detected from the unlubricated tests, and also from the silicone grease lubricated tests, i.e. silicone grease lubrication does not prevent PTFE material transfer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 67 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1021
Wear, friction, PTFE transfer, anodised aluminium, NBR rubber lip seal, silicone grease, casting, extrusion
National Category
Materials Engineering
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Tribo Materials
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195330 (URN)978-91-554-8601-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-12, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-03-20 Created: 2013-02-24 Last updated: 2013-04-17Bibliographically approved

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Riddar, FridaKassman Rudolphi, ÅsaHogmark, Sture
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