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Tribological Performance of PTFE Composites at Breakaway in Sliding Lubricated Contacts
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Babbitt has long been used as the lining material in hydrodynamic sliding bearings. However, with the new operating conditions imposed on hydro-electric power plants due to grid frequency regulation, the power plants undergo more frequent starts and stops which increases the need for an alternative material with better friction characteristics at start-up compared to conventionally used white-metal (Babbitt). Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) based materials have potential to provide significant improvements in hydrodynamic sliding bearings through their compliant and breakaway characteristics under loading. However, while pure PTFE can provide excellent performance, it is somewhat limited in extreme loading situations. This study is therefore aimed at investigating the tribological characteristics at the initiation of sliding (breakaway friction) of several polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) based materials including virgin PTFE, PTFE filled with 25% black glass, PTFE filled with 40% bronze, PTFE filled with 25% carbon, and PTFE filled with 20% glass fibre and 5% Molybdenum disulphide, as well as standard Babbitt material in lubricated sliding contact with a steel counter-face. Experiments were carried out using a reciprocating tribo-meter in the block on plate configuration with the specific goal of determining the friction characteristics at breakaway under various conditions. Apparent contact pressures of 1 to 8 MPa were applied with oil temperature levels of 25° to 85°C.Bronze- and carbon-filled PTFE and virgin PTFE were found to provide generally lower and more stable breakaway friction over the course of testing than the other materials. Breakaway friction tests after an extended stop under loading showed a maximum change in breakaway friction of 0.07 for bronze filled, carbon filled, and virgin PTFE whereas Babbitt produced an increase of 0.32 in the first cycle after the extended stop, reaching the friction level of more than three times of those of PTFE based composites. Breakaway friction for the four tested materials after an extended stop returned to the pre-stop values after 1 stroke. The effect of materials on the steel counter face was also examined using an optical profilometer finding that only glass filled composites (black glass filled PTFE, and glass fiber and MoS2 filled PTFE) produced significant polishing of the steel surface under high loads. No measurable polishing was detected for other tested materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, PTFE, Babbitt, breakaway
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-53331Local ID: a5d2ec88-2dc9-43e9-adee-06ad7c11e675OAI: diva2:1026705
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Mechanical Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20110224 (anonymous)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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