On Lubrication States after a Running-In Process in Aqueous Lubrication
Wenpeng Jia, Pengpeng Bai, Wenling Zhang, Liran Ma, Yonggang Meng, Yu Tian
Recently, many studies have reported the ultralow friction coefficient of sliding friction between rigid solid surfaces in aqueous lubrication. A running-in process that goes through high-friction and friction-decreasing regions to a stable ultralow friction region is often required. However, the role of the friction-decreasing region is often ascribed to tribofilm formation in which complexity hindered the quantitative description of the running-in process and the prediction of its subsequent lubrication state. In this work, the frictional energy (Ef) dissipated in the running-in process of a poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate) aqueous lubrication was related to the wear of solid surfaces under different conditions and lubrication states. Experimental results indicated that the high-friction region was in a boundary lubrication state, contributed to most of the wear, and significantly reduced the contact pressure, whereas the friction-decreasing region was in a mixed lubrication state, contributed only to the slight and slow removal of materials, and slightly reduced the contact pressure. Therefore, by establishing relationships among the wear scar diameter, Ef, and the Stribeck curve of the tribological system, the subsequent lubrication state after a running-in process under various working loads and sliding speeds could be quantitatively predicted. The running-in experiments with different aqueous lubrication systems showed good agreement with the prediction of this method. This investigation provides an effective method for the wear and lubrication state prediction after a running-in process, further proving the importance of the Stribeck curve for a lubrication system. This study may also have important implications for the strategy design of the running-in process in various industrial applications.