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Nanoparticle based and sputtered WS2 low-friction coatings - Differences and similarities with respect to friction mechanisms and tribofilm formation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (Tribomaterial)
2013 (English)In: Surface & Coatings Technology, ISSN 0257-8972, E-ISSN 1879-3347, Vol. 232, 616-626 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

MoS2 and WS2 are widely known intrinsic low-friction materials that have been extensively used and thoroughly investigated in literature. They are commonly produced in the form of sputtered coatings and show extremely low friction coefficients in non-humid environments, but rapidly degrade in humid conditions. Close nested fullerene-like nanoparticles of these materials have been proposed to have better oxidation resistance due to their closed form with the absence of dangling bonds. In the present study, an electrochemically deposited coating consisting of fullerene-like nanoparticles of WS2 embedded in a Ni-P matrix is tested under various loads and humidity conditions and compared with a sputtered WS2 coating with respect to their tribological behavior. The formation of a tribofilm on both surfaces is known to be crucial for the low-friction mechanism of WS2 and the different mechanisms behind this formation for the two types of coatings are investigated. It is shown that despite the completely different transformation processes, the resulting tribofilms are very similar. This is analyzed thoroughly using SEM, AES and TEM. The friction coefficient is known to be lower at higher normal loads for these materials and in the present study the mechanical and chemical responses of the tribofilm to higher normal loads during sliding are investigated. It was observed that the basal planes become aligned more parallel to the surface at higher loads, and that the tribofilm is less oxidized. It is suggested that these mechanisms are connected and are crucial keys to the wear life of these materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 232, 616-626 p.
National Category
Materials Engineering Nano Technology Tribology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Materials Science; Engineering Science with specialization in Tribo Materials
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191210DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2013.06.045ISI: 000327691300081OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191210DiVA: diva2:585051
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2016-04-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Triboactive Component Coatings: Tribological Testing and Microanalysis of Low-Friction Tribofilms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Triboactive Component Coatings: Tribological Testing and Microanalysis of Low-Friction Tribofilms
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Coatings are often used on critical components in machines and engines to reduce wear and to provide low friction in order to reduce energy losses and the environmental impact.

A triboactive coating not only provides this desired performance, it also actively maintains the low friction by a structural or chemical change in a very thin top layer of these already micrometer thin coatings. This so-called tribofilm is often 5-50 nm thick and can be formed either from the coating itself or by a reaction with the counter surface or the surrounding atmosphere, i.e. gas, fuel, oil, etc. The tribofilm will maintain the wanted performance for as long as the system is not chemically disturbed.

This thesis provides a detailed overview of the functionality of triboactive low-friction coatings, in many different systems. The majority of the tribofilms discussed, formed in very different environments, are built up by tungsten disulfide (WS2), which is a material similar to graphite, with a lamellar structure where strongly bonded atomic planes may slip over each other almost without resistance. The major difference is that WS2 is an intrinsically triboactive material, while graphite is not. However, graphite and other carbon-based materials can be made triboactive in certain atmospheres or by addition of other elements, such as hydrogen.

The remarkable affinity and driving force to form such WS2 low-friction tribofilms, regardless of the initial states of the sulfur and tungsten, and even when the forming elements are present only at ppm levels, is a recurrent observation in the thesis.

Addition of an alloying element to sputtered coatings of WS2 can improve its mechanical and frictional properties significantly. Several promising attempts have been made to find good candidates, out of which a few important ones are investigated in this thesis. Their achievable potential in friction reductions is demonstrated.

By reducing friction, energy losses can be avoided, which also results in lower particle and exhaust emissions, which directly reduces the environmental impact. Triboactive coatings are shown to be a promising route to significantly improve tribological applications and allow more environmental friendly and energy efficient vehicles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 98 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1011
tribofilms, low-friction coatings, tungsten disulfide, TEM
National Category
Materials Engineering Nano Technology
Research subject
Materials Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191223 (URN)978-91-554-8576-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-02-22, Siegbahnsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Foundation for Strategic Research
Available from: 2013-02-01 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-02-11Bibliographically approved

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