Here, staple carbon fiber fabric-reinforced polycarbonate (PC)- and epoxy (EP)-based composites with different impregnating resin levels were fabricated using a modified film stacking process. The effects of surface topographies and resin types on the tribological properties of stable carbon fabric composites (sCFC) were investigated. Friction and wear tests on the carbon composites were conducted under unlubricated sliding using a disk-on-disk wear test machine. Experimental results showed that the coefficient of friction (COF) of the sCFC was dominated by matrix type, followed by peak material portion (Smr1) values, and finalized with core height (Sk) values. The COF of composites decreased by increasing the sliding speed and applied pressure. This also relied on surface topography and temperature generated at the worn surface. However, the specific wear rate was strongly affected by resin impregnation. Partially-impregnated composites showed lower specific wear rate, whereas fully-impregnated composites showed a higher wear rate. This substantially increased by increasing the sliding speed and applied pressure. Scanning electron microscopy observations of the worn surfaces revealed that the primary wear mechanisms were abrasion, adhesion, and fatigue for PC-based composites. For EP-based composites, this was primarily abrasion and fatigue. Results proved that partially-impregnated composites exhibited better tribological properties under severe conditions.
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