The main goal of the presented work was the analysis of the interaction between deformed microstructures and friction and the wear properties of four face centered cubic (fcc) metals. Pure fcc metals such as Ag, Cu, Ni, and Al with different values of stacking fault energy (SFE) were chosen for pin-on-disk tests in lubricated conditions. Friction properties of the four fcc metals are presented herein as their Stribeck curves. The transition from elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) to boundary lubrication (BL) regions depends mainly on the values of SFE, hardness, and contact temperature. The acoustic emission (AE) parameters were analyzed in the transition from the EHL to the BL region. The models of friction in different lubricant conditions related to the AE waveforms were proposed. The nanocrystalline top surface layers characterized the deformed structure during friction of Ag in the BL region. The lamellar cross-sectional microstructure was formed in the subsurface layers of Ag, Cu, and Ni in the friction direction. Steady state friction and wear in the BL conditions were explained by a balance between the hardening and the dynamic recovery, which was strongly dependent on the SFE and the temperature. The interaction between the deformed structure, the friction, and the wear properties of the studied metals rubbed in the BL region is discussed herein.
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