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D

Journal of Materials Science and Engineering B 2 (4) (2012) 269-272

DAVID

PUBLISHING

Influence of Loads and Sliding Speed on Tribological


Properties of Cu-Based Alloy
Liru Fan1, Guolong Li2 and Jingrui Cai2
1. College of Science, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
2. College of Materials Science and Engineering, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
Received: October 08, 2011 / Accepted: November 25, 2011 / Published: April 25, 2012.
Abstract: The influence of loads and sliding speed on friction and wear properties of Cu-based alloy sliding against GCr15 steel were
studied on a MMU-200 tester, and the worn surface morphologies were also analyzed by scanning electron microscope. The results
show that as loads and sliding speed increase, the wear loss weight of the Cu alloy increases, and the friction coefficient of the Cu alloy
slightly increase with the increase of loads and sliding speed, but less variation. As a result, the dominant wear forms was plough wear,
and adhesive wear aggravated under high sliding speed and heavy load
Key words: Cu alloy, friction and wear, loads and sliding speed.

1. Introduction
With higher intensity, better resistance corruption,
casting and molding machining properties, Cu alloy
has been widely used in fields of machinery, electrician
industry, meter industry as well as electric power
industry [1-4]. However, the components which are
made of Cu alloy will be uneffective due to grinding of
abrasives. Therefore, researchers try hard to improve
the wear resistance of Cu alloy. As we all know, the
addition of multi-component elements in Cu alloy can
increase the mechanical properties of material and also
improve friction and wear properties [5-8]. In addition,
rare earth elements can purify grain boundary,
modification and alloying of metal materials, and can
increase the mechanical properties, resistance
oxidation and wear properties of metal materials [9-11].
So, in this article, the tribological behavior as well as
the influence of loads and sliding speed on friction and
wear properties of Cu-based alloy after RE
modification were studied.

2. Experiment
Corresponding author: Liru Fan, associate professor,
research field: metallic materials. E-mail: fanliru888@163.com.

The tested material was Cu-based alloy, its chemical


component (mass fraction, %) was 95.71Cu, 1.23Zr,
1.16Se, 0.85Ag, 0.54Bi, 0.38Fe, 0.13others. The
material was first melted in the vacuum medium
frequency induction furnace, after 0.30% RE
modification, then casted in the graphite mould and the
rod shape material was obtained. The friction and wear
experiments were carried out on a MMU-200
reciprocal friction and wear tester in ring-on-plate
configuration sliding against GCr15 steel, the upside
specimen was GCr15 ring, the inner diameter is 20
mm, the thickness is 3 mm, its hardness is HRC58-62,
and its roughness (Ra) is 0.8. The below specimen is
the Cu alloy the size of 50 5 mm, the upside
specimen was move, and the below specimen was fixed
during the experiment. The experiment condition was
at 25 C and dry friction. its rotate speed was between
50-400 r/min, respectively, and the corresponding
sliding speed was between 0.056-0.448 m/s, the loads
was between 50-125 N, the friction time was 5min.
Before the experiment, the surface of the specimen was
polished with 1000# sand paper, The specimen will be
washed by acetone before and after the experiment.
Before the change of the weight of the specimen before

270

Influence of Loads and Sliding Speed on Tribological Properties of Cu-Based Alloy

and after the experiment was measured with a


ESJ205-4 photoelectron balance (precision is 0.1 mg).
Rate of wear loss (Q) was calculated according to the
following formula: Q = W/L, where W is the wear loss
quality, L is sliding distance, the data is the average
value of the 3 tests results. The microstructure and the
wear surface morphologies of the specimen were
analyzed by Axiovert200MAT optical microscopy and
KYKY-2800
scanning
electron
microscopy
(SEM/EDS).

friction coefficient and the sliding speed and the load. It


can be seen that the friction coefficient of the Cu alloy
slightly increase with the increase of loads and sliding
speed, but less variation under testing conditions.
Under the sliding speed increases from 0.056 to 0.448
m/s and the load increases from 50 to 125 N, the
average friction coefficient of the Cu alloy increase
0.033 and 0.034, respectively.

3. Results and Discussion

Fig. 2 shows the relationship between the wear loss


weight and the sliding speed and the load. It can be
seen that as loads and sliding speed increase, the wear
loss weight of the Cu alloy increases. The relationship

3.1 Friction Coefficient

0.6

0.6

0.5

0.5

Friction coefficient

Friction coefficient

Fig. 1 shows the relationship between the average

3.2 Wear Loss Weight

0.4
0.3

0.4
0.3
0.2

0.2
0.1
40

60

80

100

120

0.1
0.0

140

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

Speed/mms-1

Load/N

(a)
(b)
Fig. 1 Relationship between loads or sliding speed and friction coefficient of the copper alloy: (a) Relationship between load
and friction coefficient(0.112 m/s); (b) Relationship between sliding speed and friction coefficient(50 N).

Wear loss weight/mg

80
2
60
40
40

1
60

80

100
Load/N

120

0
140

120

2.5

100

2.0

80

1.5

60
1.0

40

0.5

20
0
0.0

Wear loss rate/mg.L-1

Wear loss rate/mg.L-1

100

Wear loss weight/mg

120

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.0
0.5

Speed/mms-1

(a)
(b)
Fig. 2 Relationship between loads or sliding speed and wear loss weight or wear loss rate of the copper alloy: (a)
Relationship between loads and wear loss weight or wear loss rate(0.112 m/s); (b) Relationship between sliding speed and
wear loss weight or wear loss rate (50 N)

Influence of Loads and Sliding Speed on Tribological Properties of Cu-Based Alloy

between the wear loss weight and the loads variation is


linear. But the relationship between the wear loss
weight and the sliding speed is not linear. When sliding
speed increases from 0.056 to 0.448 m/s, the wear loss
weight variation increases better, when sliding speed
increases from 0.112 to 0.448 m/s, the wear loss weight
slightly increase with the increase of loads and sliding
speed, but less variation, and the wear loss rate of the
Cu alloy increase with the increase of loads and sliding
speed, when sliding speed is 0.112 m/s, the maximum
wear loss rate is 1.65 mg/L, then the wear loss rate
decreases as the increase of sliding speed.
3.3 Wear Surface Morphology
Fig. 3 shows the wear surface morphologies of the
specimen surface under different friction conditions. It
can be seen that there are obvious furrow and cohesive
metal on the wear surface of all the specimens under
low sliding speed and light loads. The cohesive metal
on the wear surface increases with the increasing of the
load and the sliding speed. There is O atom on the
surface of cohesive metal, this proves the friction and
wear process of the Cu alloy product oxide. It can be
conducted that the dominant wear forms was plough
wear and adhesive wear, and adhesive wear aggravated
under high sliding speed and heavy load.
3.4 Discussion
The microstructure of Cu alloy is composed of
(Cu)matrix and irregular grain of alloy phase (Fig. 4),

and the hardness of alloy is lower than that of GCr15


steel ring, when Cu alloy sliding against GCr15 steel,
many micro convex on the surface of GCr15 steel ring
directly compress into the surface layer of the softer
specimen, during the opposite slide process, the metal
of the surface compressed by the micro convex
separate from the matrix to form furrow. Because
during the wear process, the scrap cut and the material
extruded to the sides of the furrow are continuously cut
and fall away, under the load in the normal direction,
they embed in the surface of the specimen to form new
wear particles, the moving friction particles would
plough and cut the matrix. The heavier the load is, the
greater the stress on the interface, and the higher the
sliding speed, the greater the tangential stress parallel
to the sliding direction. Meanwhile, the high sliding
speed is, the longer the friction distance of the
specimen in unit time, so the bigger the wear loss
weight is.
For wear loss rate, the heavier the load and higher
sliding speed is, the more the heat caused by the
friction, the temperature of the surface metal increase
and the resistance of the plastic deformation and the
ability of load taking decrease, which make the wear
loss rate increases. Meanwhile, adhesive wear tend to
occur. But as the increase of sliding speed, on one hand,
the strain efficiency and hardness of alloy increase. On
the other hand, adhesive wear tend to occur under high
sliding speed and heavy loads, adhesive metal also
decrease the direct connect between the specimen and
(b)

(a)

50m

(a) 0.056 m/s


Fig. 3

Morphologies of the wear surface(load 50 N).

271

50m

(b) 0.448 m/s

272

Influence of Loads and Sliding Speed on Tribological Properties of Cu-Based Alloy

[2]

[3]
50m
50m

Fig. 4

Microstructures of the copper alloy.

GCr15 steel. Besides, the oxide layer caused by the


friction heat can have the effect of lubricate, the result
is that the degree of wear loss decreases and wear loss
rate is low. The addition of rare earths can decrease the
disadvantages including air hole, pin hole and loosen
caused by impurity in structure of alloy, and can refine
the structure of alloy, increase the strength of crystal
boundary and enhance the resistance of the plastic
deformation and the ability of load of the surface of
wear loss metal [12, 13], which is beneficial to
improve resistance wear of alloy.

4. Conclusions
When Cu-based alloy sliding against GCr15 steel in
the sliding speed range of 0.056-0.448 m/s and the load
range of 50-125 N, the wear loss weight increase with
the increasing of the load and the sliding speed, the
wear loss rate increases as the increase of the load and
increase at first, then decreases with the increase of the
sliding speed. When the sliding speed is 0.112 m/s, the
wear loss rate of the alloy is maximum.
The friction coefficient of Cu-based alloy slightly
increase with the increase of loads and sliding speed
increase, as a results, the dominant wear forms was
plough wear, and adhesion wear aggravated under high
sliding speed and heavy load.

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