Silicon-incorporated diamond-like coatings for Si3N4 mechanical seals


Amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC) and silicon-incorporated diamond-like carbon films (DLC-Si) were evaluated as protective and friction reduction coatings onto Si3N4 rings. Unlubricated tribological tests were performed with a pin-on-disk apparatus against stainless steel pins with loads ranging from 3 to 55 N and sliding velocities from 0.2 to 1.0 m/s, under ambient air and 50-60% relative humidity. At the lowest loads, a-SiC coatings present a considerable improvement with respect to the behavior of uncoated disks since the friction coefficient is reduced to about 0.2 and the system is able to run stably for thousands of meters. At higher loads, however, a-SiC coatings fail. DIC-Si-coated rings, on the other hand, presented for loads up to 10 N a steady-state friction coefficient below 0.1 and very low wear rates. The lowest steady-state mean fiction coefficient value of only 0.055 was obtained with a sliding velocity of 0.5 m/s. For higher loads in the range of 20 N, the friction coefficient drops to values around 0.1 but no steady state is reached. For the highest loads of over 50 N, a catastrophic behavior is observed. Typically, wear rates below 5 X 10(-6) and 2 X 10(-7) mm(3)/N in were obtained for the ceramic rings and pins, respectively, with a load of 10 N and a sliding velocity of 0.5 m/s. Analysis of the steel pin contact surface by scanning electron microscopy (SEM)-energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) and Auger spectroscopy revealed the formation of an adherent tribo-layer mainly composed by Si, C and O. The unique structure of DLC-Si films is thought to be responsible for the formation of the tribo-layer. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.



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Materials Science; Physics


Camargo, SS; Gomes, JR; Carrapichano, JM; Silva, RF; Achete, CA

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