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A Review of Transfer Films and Their Role in Ultra-Low-Wear Sliding of Polymers

Institute of Tribology, Hefei University of Technology, 230009 Hefei, China
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Werner Oesterle and Ga Zhang
Lubricants 2016, 4(1), 4;
Received: 16 January 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribofilms and Solid Lubrication)
PDF [2140 KB, uploaded 26 February 2016]


In dry sliding conditions, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) composites can form thin, uniform, and protective transfer films on hard, metallic counterfaces that may play a significant role in friction and wear control. Qualitative characterizations of transfer film morphology, composition, and adhesion to the counterface suggest they are all good predictors of friction and, particularly, wear performance. However, a lack of quantitative transfer film characterization methods and uncertainty regarding specific mechanisms of friction and wear control make definitive conclusions about causal relationships between transfer film and tribological properties difficult. This paper reviews the state of the art in the solid lubricant transfer film literature and highlights recent advances in quantitative characterization thereof. View Full-Text
Keywords: PTFE composite; transfer film; morphology; adhesion; friction and wear PTFE composite; transfer film; morphology; adhesion; friction and wear

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Ye, J.; Burris, D.L.; Xie, T. A Review of Transfer Films and Their Role in Ultra-Low-Wear Sliding of Polymers. Lubricants 2016, 4, 4.

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