Carbon nanoparticles have already shown a reduction in friction and wear of components when used as solid lubricants or oil additives, thus increasing duty life –. However, the tribomechanisms as well as the micromechanical properties of such carbon nanoparticles are still not well understood. Additionally, studies about the tribological behaviour of laser structured metallic surfaces have also demonstrated a reduction in friction and wear . Yet, to the best of our knowledge, a combination of both features was never considered in the literature.
In this study, mirror polished and laser structured stainless steel surfaces were coated via electrophoretic deposition with carbon nanotubes and analysed in terms of their tribological behaviour. To evaluate the acting mechanisms, complementary analytical methods were employed, including tribological and mechanical measurements, Raman spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy and high-resolution electron microscopy.
Our results show a significant reduction of the friction coefficient compared to the reference for both, the polished/coated as well as the structured/coated surfaces. Furthermore, we observed that the laser-generated topography not only reduces the real contact area, but also works as a solid lubricant reservoir throughout the experiments. Differences in the coefficient of friction, the run-in behaviour and the wear mechanisms are discussed in this study.
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