Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 50, Issue 16, pp 5524–5532 | Cite as

Dependence of tribofilm characteristics on the running-in behavior of aluminum–silicon alloys

  • Pantcho Stoyanov
  • Dominic Linsler
  • Tobias Schlarb
  • Matthias Scherge
  • Ruth Schwaiger
Original Paper


In this study, we evaluate the evolution of the interfacial processes in metallic sliding contacts (i.e., aluminum alloys) in terms of their elemental composition, structural changes, and nanomechanical properties in order to understand the optimal running-in behavior leading to steady-state low friction and high wear resistance. Two different sliding conditions are used, resulting in low and high long-term friction and corresponding well with the low and high wear rates. Ex situ elemental analysis of these sliding experiments was performed by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The mechanical properties were evaluated using nanoindentation and microcompression testing. While the elemental analysis revealed an increased oxide content for the near-surface region of the worn surfaces compared to the unworn material, the oxide content was higher for the experiments that resulted in an unfavorable tribological response (i.e., high friction and high wear). Similarly, the sub-surface grain-refined layer under these conditions was thicker compared to the experiment with a short running-in stage and low steady-state friction and wear. These observations correlated well with the nanoindentation and microcompression results, which show higher hardness and yield stress for the high friction and wear experiment. Correspondingly, low steady-state friction and wear were obtained with the formation of a thin and mechanically stable tribolayer.


Contact Pressure Wear Surface Indentation Depth Wear Track Transfer Film 
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.



We thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG for financial support (SPP 1551) under contracts SCH425/4 and DI1494. The authors would also like to thank Eberhard Nold for the XPS analysis and Andreas Janssen (Fraunhofer IPT) for the machining of the disks.


  1. 1.
    Deuis RL, Subramanian C, Yellup JM (1997) Dry sliding wear of aluminium composites—A review. Compos Sci Technol 57:415–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rohatgi P (1991) Cast aluminum-matrix composites for automotive applications. JOM 43:10–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Godet M (1984) The third-body approach: a mechanical view of wear. Wear 100:437–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shockley JM, Strauss HW, Chromik RR, Brodusch N, Gauvin R, Irissou E et al (2013) In situ tribometry of cold-sprayed Al-Al2O3 composite coatings. Surf Coat Technol 215:350–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Minami I, Sugibuchi A (2012) Surface chemistry of aluminium alloy slid against steel lubricated by organic friction modifier in hydrocarbon oil. Adv Tribol 2012:7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alshmri F, Atkinson HV, Hainsworth SV, Haidon C, Lawes SDA (2014) Dry sliding wear of aluminium-high silicon hypereutectic alloys. Wear 313:106–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sarkar AD (1975) Wear of aluminium-silicon alloys. Wear 31:331–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Venkataraman B, Sundararajan G (1996) The sliding wear behaviour of Al-SiC particulate composites—I Macrobehaviour. Acta Mater 44:451–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Venkataraman B, Sundararajan G (1996) The sliding wear behaviour of Al-SiC particulate composites—II. The characterization of subsurface deformation and correlation with wear behaviour. Acta Mater 44:461–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rosenberger MR, Schvezov CE, Forlerer E (2005) Wear of different aluminum matrix composites under conditions that generate a mechanically mixed layer. Wear 259:590–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Venkataraman B, Sundararajan G (2000) Correlation between the characteristics of the mechanically mixed layer and wear behaviour of aluminium, Al-7075 alloy and Al-MMCs. Wear 245:22–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rosenberger MR, Forlerer E, Schvezov CE (2009) Wear behavior of AA1060 reinforced with alumina under different loads. Wear 266:356–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Li XY, Tandon KN (1999) Mechanical mixing induced by sliding wear of an Al-Si alloy against M2 steel. Wear 225:640–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rice SL, Nowotny H, Wayne SF (1981) Characteristics of metallic subsurface zones in sliding and impact wear. Wear 74:131–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sauger E, Fouvry S, Ponsonnet L, Kapsa P, Martin JM, Vincent L (2000) Tribologically transformed structure in fretting. Wear 245:39–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Blau PJ (2008) Friction science and technology: from concepts to applications, 2nd edn. Taylor & Francis, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Feser T, Stoyanov P, Mohr F, Dienwiebel M (2013) The running-in mechanisms of binary brass studied by in-situ topography measurements. Wear 303:465–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jacobson B (2003) The Stribeck memorial lecture. Tribol Intern 36:781–789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schwaiger R, Weber M, Moser B, Gumbsch P, Kraft O (2012) Mechanical assessment of ultrafine-grained nickel by microcompression experiment and finite element simulation. J Mater Res 27:266–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Stoyanov P, Romero PA, Järvi TT, Pastewka L, Scherge M, Stemmer P et al (2013) Experimental and numerical atomistic investigation of the third body formation process in dry tungsten/tungsten-carbide tribo couples. Tribol Lett 50:67–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rigney DA, Fu XY, Hammerberg JE, Holian BL, Falk ML (2003) Examples of structural evolution during sliding and shear of ductile materials. Scr Mater 49:977–983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rigney DA (1997) Comments on the sliding wear of metals. Tribol Intern 30:361–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stoyanov P, Merz R, Romero PA, Wählisch FC, Abad OT, Gralla R et al (2015) Surface softening in metal-ceramic sliding contacts: an experimental and numerical investigation. ACS Nano 9:1478–1491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Stoyanov P, Stemmer P, Järvi T, Merz R, Romero P, Scherge M et al (2013) Friction and wear mechanisms of tungsten-carbon systems: a comparison of dry and lubricated conditions. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 5(6123):6135Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Li XY, Tandon KN (2000) Microstructural characterization of mechanically mixed layer and wear debris in sliding wear of an Al alloy and an Al based composite. Wear 245:148–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kim HJ, Windl W, Rigney D (2007) Structure and chemical analysis of aluminum wear debris: experiments and ab initio simulations. Acta Mater 55:6489–6498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fischer A (2009) Subsurface microstructural alterations during sliding wear of biomedical metals. Modelling and experimental results. Comput Mater Sci 46:586–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rigney DA (2000) Transfer, mixing and associated chemical and mechanical processes during the sliding of ductile materials. Wear 245:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Farhat ZN, Ding Y, Northwood DO, Alpas AT (1996) Effect of grain size on friction and wear of nanocrystalline aluminum. Mater Sci Eng A 206:302–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nix WD, Gao H (1998) Indentation size effects in crystalline materials: a law for strain gradient plasticity. J Mech Phys Solids 46:411–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Shockley JM, Descartes S, Irissou E, Legoux JG, Chromik RR (2014) Third body behavior during dry sliding of cold-sprayed Al-Al2O3 composites. In Situ tribometry and microanalysis. Tribol Lett 54:191–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Descartes S, Berthier Y (2002) Rheology and flows of solid third bodies: background and application to an MoS1.6 coating. Wear 252:546–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Berthier Y (2005) Third-body reality -consequences and use of the third-body concept to solve friction and wear problems. In: Stachowiak GW (ed) Wear—materials, mechanisms and practice. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., Chichester, pp 291–316Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Scherge M, Shakhvorostov D, Pöhlmann K (2003) Fundamental wear mechanism of metals. Wear 255:395–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Young JL, Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf D, Hull R (2000) The generation of mechanically mixed layers (MMLs) during sliding contact and the effects of lubricant thereon. Wear 246:74–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Furlong O, Miller B, Tysoe W (2011) Shear-induced surface-to-bulk transport at room temperature in a sliding metal-metal interface. Tribol Lett 41:257–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pantcho Stoyanov
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dominic Linsler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tobias Schlarb
    • 1
  • Matthias Scherge
    • 1
  • Ruth Schwaiger
    • 2
  1. 1.Fraunhofer-Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM - MicroTribology Center µTCFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Applied Materials IAMKarlsruhe Institute of Technology KITKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Kennametal Inc.LatrobeUSA

Personalised recommendations