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Open AccessArticle

Improved Tribological Performance of Amorphous Carbon (a-C) Coating by ZrO2 Nanoparticles

by Jinzhu Tang 1,2, Qi Ding 1,3,*, Songwei Zhang 1,3, Guizhi Wu 1 and Litian Hu 1,*
State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Qingdao Center of Resource Chemistry and New Materials, Qingdao 266100, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Auezhan Amanov
Materials 2016, 9(10), 795;
Received: 23 July 2016 / Revised: 1 September 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribological Behavior of Materials by Surface Engineering)
Nanomaterials, such as Graphene, h-BN nanoparticles and MoS2 nanotubes, have shown their ability in improving the tribological performance of amorphous carbon (a-C) coatings. In the current study, the effectiveness of ZrO2 nanoparticles (ZrO2-NPs) in lubricating the self-mated nonhydrogenated a-C contacts was investigated in boundary lubrication regime. The results showed that 13% less friction and 50% less wear compared to the base oil were achieved by employing ZrO2-NPs in the base oil in self-mated a-C contacts. Via analyzing the ZrO2-NPs and the worn a-C surface after tests, it was found that the improved lubrication by ZrO2-NPs was based on “polishing effects”, which is a new phenomenon observed between a-C and nanoparticles. Under the “polishing effect”, micro-plateaus with extremely smooth surface and uniform height were produced on the analyzed a-C surface. The resulting topography of the a-C coating is suitable for ZrO2-NPs to act as nano-bearings between rubbing surfaces. Especially, the ZrO2-NPs exhibited excellent mechanical and chemical stability, even under the severe service condition, suggesting that the combination of nonhydrogenated a-C coating with ZrO2-NPs is an effective, long lasting and environment-friendly lubrication solution. View Full-Text
Keywords: amorphous carbon coating; ZrO2 nanoparticles; friction coefficient; wear; polishing effect amorphous carbon coating; ZrO2 nanoparticles; friction coefficient; wear; polishing effect
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tang, J.; Ding, Q.; Zhang, S.; Wu, G.; Hu, L. Improved Tribological Performance of Amorphous Carbon (a-C) Coating by ZrO2 Nanoparticles. Materials 2016, 9, 795.

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