- Dry Rolling Friction and Wear of Elastomer Systems and Their Finite Element Modelling (2009)
- Elastomers and their various composites, and blends are frequently used as engineering working parts subjected to rolling friction movements. This fact already substantiates the importance of a study addressing the rolling tribological properties of elastomers and their compounds. It is worth noting that until now the research and development works on the friction and wear of rubber materials were mostly focused on abrasion and to lesser extent on sliding type of loading. As the tribological knowledge acquired with various counterparts, excluding rubbers, can hardly be adopted for those with rubbers, there is a substantial need to study the latter. Therefore, the present work was aimed at investigating the rolling friction and wear properties of different kinds of elastomers against steel under unlubricated condition. In the research the rolling friction and wear properties of various rubber materials were studied in home-made rolling ball-on-plate test configurations under dry condition. The materials inspected were ethylene/propylene/diene rubber (EPDM) without and with carbon black (EPDM_CB), hydrogenated acrylonitrile/butadiene rubber (HNBR) without and with carbon black/silica/multiwall carbon nanotube (HNBR_CB/silica/MWCNT), rubber-rubber hybrid (HNBR and fluororubber (HNBR-FKM)) and rubber-thermoplastic blend (HNBR and cyclic butylene terephthalate oligomers (HNBR-CBT)). The dominant wear mechanisms were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and analyzed as a function of composition and testing conditions. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic-mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) along with other auxiliary measurements, were adopted to determine the phase structure and network-related properties of the rubber systems. The changes of the friction and wear as a function of type and amount of the additives were explored. The friction process of selected rubbers was also modelled by making use of the finite element method (FEM). The results show that incorporation of filler enhanced generally the wear resistance, hardness, stiffness (storage modulus), and apparent crosslinking of the related rubbers (EPDM-, HNBR- and HNBR-FKM based ones), but did not affect their glass transition temperature. Filling of rubbers usually reduced the coefficient of friction (COF). However, the tribological parameters strongly depended also on the test set-up and test duration. High wear loss was noticed for systems showing the occurrence of Schallamach-type wavy pattern. The blends HNBR-FKM and HNBR-CBT were two-phase structured. In HNBR-FKM, the FKM was dispersed in form of large microscaled domains in the HNBR matrix. This phase structure did not change by incorporation of MWCNT. It was established that the MWCNT was preferentially embedded in the HNBR matrix. Blending HNBR with FKM reduced the stiffness and degree of apparent crosslinking of the blend, which was traced to the dilution of the cure recipe with FKM. The coefficient of friction increased with increasing FKM opposed to the expectation. On the other hand, the specific wear rate (Ws) changed marginally with increasing content of FKM. In HNBR-CBT hybrids the HNBR was the matrix, irrespective to the rather high CBT content. Both the partly and mostly polymerized CBT ((p)CBT and pCBT, respectively) in the hybrids worked as active filler and thus increased the stiffness and hardness. The COF and Ws decreased with increasing CBT content. The FEM results in respect to COF achieved on systems possessing very different structures and thus properties (EPDM_30CB, HNBR-FKM 100-100 and HNBR-(p)CBT 100-100, respectively) were in accordance with the experimental results. This verifies that FEM can be properly used to consider the complex viscoelastic behaviour of rubber materials under dry rolling condition.