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Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 1045–1058 | Cite as

Formation of UHMWPE polymeric transfer films on sliding glass counterfaces: early and steady-state wear studied by transmission electron microscopy

  • G. C. Ruben
  • T. A. Blanchet
  • F. E. Kennedy
Papers

Abstract

At a temperature of 30°C polymeric transfer films were generated on glass counterfaces during small-amplitude oscillatory sliding contact with an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) pin under a constant load of 6.5 MPa. Early discontinuous and continuous (steady-state) transfer films were studied with vertical platinum-carbon replication and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Nanometre-scale UHMWPE deposits in these transfer films have been visualized for the first time. Nanometre-scale particles averaging 20.6 ±6.3nm (5–40nm) were deposited on glass in the early stages of UHMWPE film transfer. After formation of a continuous transfer film, UHMWPE particles of slightly smaller dimensions, 13.5±6.1 nm (2–41 nm), were deposited on the transfer film surface. In addition, micrometre-scale particles (0.1–6.4 μm) were found at the ends of the wear track. At high magnification, a fraction of the UHMWPE polymer chains observed in particle surfaces and in the transfer film surface nearby were not oriented in the sliding direction. Some crystal- or plate-like particles of UHMWPE were seen in the transfer film. Plate-like and micrometre-scale spherulitic inclusions were also identified on the mostly amorphous UHMWPE pin surface fractured at liquid nitrogen temperatures. The high frequency of nanometre-scale UHMWPE particles in contrast to the less numerous micrometre-scale deposits near the ends of the wear track suggests that the nanometre-scale deposits contribute significantly to transfer film formation and to the wear characteristics of UHMWPE.

Keywords

UHMWPE Wear Track Liquid Nitrogen Temperature Transfer Film Wear Characteristic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Ruben
    • 1
  • T. A. Blanchet
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. E. Kennedy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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