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Lubricants 2017, 5(3), 35; doi:10.3390/lubricants5030035

Low Friction and High Solid-Solid Contact Ratio—A Contradiction for Laser-Patterned Surfaces?

Chair of Functional Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbruecken, Germany
INM—Leibniz Institute for New Materials, 66123 Saarbruecken, Germany
Center for Memory and Recording Research, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improvement of Friction and Wear by Laser Surface Texturing)
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Recording of Stribeck-like curves is a common way to study the effect of laser-patterned surfaces on the frictional efficiency. However, solely relying on the coefficient of friction when identifying the lubrication regime and the underlying working principles can be misleading. Consequently, a ball-on-disc tribometer was combined with an electrical resistivity circuit to simultaneously measure Stribeck-like curves and solid-solid contact ratios for polished and laser-patterned samples. Line-like surface patterns with different periodicities were produced by direct laser interference patterning on steel substrates (AISI304). The reference shows a Stribeck-like behavior well correlating with the contact ratios. The behavior deviates for high sliding velocities (high contact ratios) due to a loss of lubricant induced by centrifugal forces pulling the lubricant out of the contact zone. In contrast, the solid–solid contact ratio of the laser-patterned samples is around 80% for all sliding velocities. Those values can be explained by higher contact pressures and the structural depth induced by the surface topography which make a full separation of the surfaces unlikely. Despite those high values for the contact ratio, laser-patterning significantly reduces friction, which can be traced back to a reduced real contact area and the ability to store oil in the contact zone. View Full-Text
Keywords: laser surface patterning; friction reduction; solid–solid contact ratio; lubrication regimes laser surface patterning; friction reduction; solid–solid contact ratio; lubrication regimes

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bettscheider, S.; Grützmacher, P.G.; Rosenkranz, A. Low Friction and High Solid-Solid Contact Ratio—A Contradiction for Laser-Patterned Surfaces? Lubricants 2017, 5, 35.

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