North Canton, OH, United States
North Canton, OH, United States

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Evans R.D.,Hager Timken Technology Center | Doll G.L.,Hager Timken Technology Center | Hager C.H.,Hager Timken Technology Center | Howe J.Y.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Tribology Letters | Year: 2010

Tribochemical wear may occur at the interface between a surface and a lubricant as a result of chemical and mechanical interactions in a tribological contact. Understanding the onset of tribochemical wear damage on component surfaces requires the use of high resolution techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In this study, two steel types, case carburized AISI 3310 and through-hardened AISI 52100, were wear tested using a ball-on-disk rolling/sliding contact tribometer in fully formulated commercial wind turbine gearbox oil under boundary lubrication conditions with 10% slip. With the exception of steel type, all other test conditions were held constant. Conventional tribofilm analysis in the wear tracks was performed using X-ray photoelectron spectros-copy, and no significant composition differences were detected in the tribofilms for the different steel disk types. However, TEM analysis revealed significant tribochemical wear differences between the two steel types at multiple length scales, from the near-surface material microstructure (depth < 500 nm) to the tribofilm nanostructure. Nanometer-scale interfacial cracking and surface particle detachment was observed for the AISI 52100 case, whereas the tribofilm/substrate interface was abrupt and undamaged for the AISI 3310 case. Differences in tribofilm structure, including the location and orientation of MoS2 single sheet inclusions, were observed as a function of steel type as well. It is suggested that the tribochemical wear modes observed in these experiments may be origins of. macroscopic surface-initiated damage such as micropitting in bearings and gears. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

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