Abstract: Tribological surfaces of mechanical components encounter harsh conditions in terrestrial, marine and aerospace environments. Brinell denting, abrasive wear and fatigue often lead to life-limiting bearing and gear failures. Novel superelastic materials based upon Nickel-Titanium (NiTi) alloys are an emerging solution. NiTi alloys are intermetallic materials that possess characteristics of both metals and ceramics. NiTi alloys have intrinsically good aqueous corrosion resistance (they cannot rust), high hardness, relatively low elastic modulus, are chemically inert and readily lubricated. NiTi alloys also belong to the family of superelastics and, despite high hardness, are able to withstand large strains without suffering permanent plastic deformation. In this paper, the use of a hard, resilient NiTi alloy for corrosion-proof, shockproof bearing and gear applications is presented. Through a series of bearing and gear development projects, it is demonstrated that NiTi’s unique blend of material properties lead to significantly improved load capacity, reduced weight and intrinsic corrosion resistance not found in any other bearing materials. NiTi thus represents a new materials solution to demanding tribological applications.
Abstract: Since 1960, when the first hip prosthesis was introduced, up to now, several implant typologies have been proposed trying to meet the increasing clinical demands of more and more active and young patients. A substantial evolution of implant design has been occurring, both in terms of materials and geometry, basically driven by their tribological performances. Indeed, the main concern of hip implants consists in the release of wear debris, which can lead to implant loosening and failure. Thus, many studies on wear and lubrication of hip prostheses have been published in the last 15 years, mainly focused on experimental researches but also on numerical/modeling approaches. The aim of this work is to review the history of hip implants from a tribological point of view with a focus on ceramic-on-ceramic replacements, which represent the most advanced solution in terms of wear strength and chemical inertness. The main drawbacks of these implants, as the brittleness and the squeaking, are discussed and novel solutions examined.
Abstract: Household refrigeration represents 17.3% of home energy consumption in the USA and 47% in Brazil. This article overviews a multidisciplinary approach to develop a traditional hermetic compressor (oil lubricated, with several rotating parts), into an oil-less, linear motion, innovative compressor, with improved efficiency, versatility and sustainability. This involves the development of surface engineering processes combining purpose-oriented phases applied to soft substrates to achieve high wear resistance and load support and low friction coefficient. Initially, the role of the environment (air, CO2 and R600a) on the tribological behaviour of a commercially available Si-rich multifunctional DLC coating deposited on AISI 1020 steel is illustrated. In sequence, the influence of the thickness of different layers (DLC and CrN) on sliding wear is analysed. Results are presented using an original approach (3D triboscopic maps) for two distinct configurations (increasing load and constant load) and findings are confronted with numerical simulations using Film Doctor®. Finally, a low cost process to obtain a multifunctional coating (different nitrided layers + DLC) is described, which uses a unique thermal cycle reactor capable of coating parts in industrial scale with reduced cost.
Abstract: Copper-carbon composites are very promising functional materials used as electrical contact devices due to their high electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and excellent wear resistance. In the present study the influence of carbon forms (including carbon nanotubes, graphite nanopowder and graphene) on the properties of copper matrix composites was examined. The composites were fabricated using the powder metallurgy method. The optimal parameters of the hot-pressing process in vacuum were fixed as follows: the temperature of 525°C, the pressure of 600 MPa and the time of 10 min. The wear tests were performed in dry conditions using an SRV (Schwingungs Reibung und Verschleiss) friction and wear tester in a reciprocating motion. The friction and wear behaviour of copper with 3 vol.% of carbon were investigated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to analyse the worn surfaces and debris, and finally the wear mechanism was discussed.
Abstract: This article reports new events of amorphization, field activated sintering and superplastic forming of ultrahigh temperature ceramics (UHTCs), in order to provide an advanced method of the integrated material design and solid state synthesis on demand in the framework of material system science and technology. Nonequilibrium reaction ball milling can be used to prepare a variety of amorphous powders of covalent-bonding typed ceramics such as SiC, B4C, HfC and ZrB2, a binary system of B4C∙SiC, and ternary system of B4C∙SiC∙ZrB2, when having a judicious selection of reaction routes and process controls based on thermodynamics and kinetics of mechanically driven amorphization. Then, intelligent nanosintering with multi-variable control makes it possible to obtain full densification of amorphous UHTCs powder below nanocrystallization, and in process amorphous and/or nanocrystalline structure control densification. Especially, millimeter wave pressure sintering makes it possible to obtain rapid densification during enhanced non-Newtonian flow under an electric field at the temperature of below glass transition. The full-density amorphous B4C・SiC shows high-strain rate superplastic forming during viscous flow with compressibility of 0.75 around 1400 K prior to crystallization.
Abstract: Authors have studied the interaction between high-melting compounds from various classes, such as transition-metal carbides, borides, nitrides, and silicides, and covalent-bonded B4C, SiC, Si3N4, AlN etc. (over 160 phase diagrams), ternary B4C-SiC-MedB2, SiC-TiC-TiB2 and other eutectics, which is important for optimizing the sintering temperature, material design and prediction of properties of many materials for high temperature applications including wear, aggressive, impact and radiation conditions. A vast identified group of eutectics with number of components n ≥ 2 has reduced eutectic temperature Тeut. (in some sistems reducing reaches 1200 °C). Noted, that increasing of n suppresses grain growth, which is particularly important for developing nanostructured ceramics via pressureless sintering and for controlling the ceramic's performance. Multiphase ceramics (SiC-TiC-TiB2, B4C-SiC-MedB2, B4C-W2B5-MedB2, B4C-LnB6-MedB2, etc.) feature improved mechanical parameters and high wear and impact resistance.
Abstract: Hexagonal Boron Nitride (h-BN) shows remarkable physical properties, including high thermal stability, low density, low metals wettability, high corrosion resistance and microwave transparency. These features make it extremely interesting for several industrial applications such as furnaces manufacturing and metallurgy industry. Usually, h-BN parts are sintered by expensive high-temperature/high-pressure processes, strongly limiting their size. Here we present a new, cost-effective technique to obtain materials with high h-BN content and large dimensions, suitable for wide-scale industrial applications. Using h-BN and silicon powders as raw materials, reaction-bonded Si3N4/BN composites were obtained by complete nitriding of silicon. Two shaping techniques were exploited: slip casting and uniaxial compression molding using a thermosetting resin (in this case also Silicon Carbide was obtained), leading to materials with different properties. Both large (plates with diameter up to 400mm) and/or complexly-shaped objects (i.e. crucibles) were produced. Such materials were prepared using a Gas Pressure Sintering oven with different process parameters. The as-prepared samples were characterized and tested in a real application, as parts of liquid-silicon infiltration crucibles.
Abstract: The development of SiAlON-based ceramics has shown great impact in the field of cutting/drilling tool industry and other engineering applications. It is highly desirable to cut-down the cost of the cutting tools by increasing their service lifetime. Potential ways to improve tool life is by preparing these SiAlON-based ceramics adopting non-conventional synthesis routes and by using different precursors. The present study reports the results of synthesis of SiAlON-based nano-ceramics via spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. Generally, metal nitride and metal oxide precursors are used for synthesizing self-reinforced SiAlON ceramics. In this work, nano-sized metallic precursors including amorphous-Si3N4 and crystalline β-Si3N4, SiO2, AlN and Al2O3 were used, which could be a novel way to synthesize SiAlONs at low temperatures with enhanced performance. The properties of these SiAlONs are tailored by optimizing the synthesis parameters. The synthesized samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction and field emission scanning electron microscopy to study the effect of processing parameters on microstructure, density and hardness.
Abstract: Pressureless sintering of silicon carbide powder requires addition of sintering aids and high sintering temperature (>2100°C) in order to achieve high sintered density (>95% T.D.). The high sintering temperature normally causes an exaggerated grain growth which can compromise the mechanical properties. Two-step sintering (TSS) can be used to overcome this problem. By this method, high sintered density is obtained avoiding the grain growth associated to the last step of the sintering. Two-step sintering was successfully applied to different commercial silicon carbide powders with different sintering mechanism: solid-state and liquid-phase sintering. In both cases the sintering temperature was set nearly 100 °C below the temperature conventionally required. Microstructures of samples obtained by TSS and conventional sintering (CS) processes were compared. TSS-SiC showed finer microstructure consisted of equiaxed grains with very similar density. The beneficial effects of the two-step sintering process were more evident in the solid state sintering. In this case sintered density higher than 98% was achieved with T<2000 °C.