Tribological behavior of nanocomposite coatings based on fullerene-like structures
This paper presents a new group of nanocomposite coatings based on integrating inorganic fullerene-like material (IFLM) structures into conventional coating matrices.
Such coatings have been developed within the scope of the European funded FOREMOST project (FP6-NMP3-CT-2005-515840).
Regarding the synthesis of these nanocomposite coatings based on fullerene-like components, two alternative routes were explored: introducing preformed IFLMs into the coating deposition process or forming the fullerene-like components in situ during the coating deposition process. Both methods have been demonstrated to be technically feasible, depending on the nature of the coating matrix or the desired fullerene-like structure.
These new materials allow some independent control of tribological properties usually known as antagonists (very high load bearing capacity with a very low friction coefficient). In the case of unidirectional movement, under dry conditions, the best coatings developed in FOREMOST displayed a coefficient of friction in air within the range 0.04–0.10, depending on the degree of humidity and the test conditions. Pure sliding laboratory tests indicate that for some industrial applications fullerene-like nanocomposite coatings can give significant reductions in wear and friction coefficient when compared to similar coatings without fullerene-like components. The lubrication mechanisms through which these fullerene-like structures improve friction and prevent wear are also discussed in this paper.