Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 41, Issue 14, pp 4543–4553 | Cite as

TEM and nanomechanical studies on tribological surface modifications formed on roller bearings under controlled lubrication conditions

  • Manuela ReicheltEmail author
  • Thomas E. Weirich
  • Joachim Mayer
  • Thomas Wolf
  • Jörg Loos
  • Peter W. Gold
  • Michel Fajfrowski


The chemical composition and microstructure of reaction layers formed under the presence of lubricants with low wear protection, high wear and fatigue protection, and high wear but low fatigue protection on thrust cylindrical roller bearings made of 100Cr6 steel were analysed by transmission electron microscopy. Thin cross sections prepared by the focused ion beam technique were investigated. The nanomechanical properties of the different tribological layers were analysed by static and dynamic nanoindentation. Our results indicate that wear protection not only relies on the lubricant induced formation of a reaction layer, but also on the properties of the combined system of a reaction layer and an underlying tribomutation layer. The formation and structure of the layer system varies with the chemical nature of the basic oil. Our investigations show that its ability to protect against wear and fatigue strongly depends on the oil viscosity and the additives.


Reaction Layer Indentation Modulus Nanomechanical Property Tribological System Wear Protection 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) [GO 684/8-3 and MA 1280/22-1] and the European Commission through the Nanobeams Network of Excellence [FP6-500440-2].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Reichelt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas E. Weirich
    • 1
  • Joachim Mayer
    • 1
  • Thomas Wolf
    • 2
  • Jörg Loos
    • 2
  • Peter W. Gold
    • 2
  • Michel Fajfrowski
    • 3
  1. 1.Central Facility for Electron MicroscopyRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Machine Elements and Machine DesignRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  3. 3.MTS SystemsCreteilFrance

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