Improving Tribological Performance of Mechanical Components by Laser Surface Texturing
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- Etsion, I. Tribology Letters (2004) 17: 733. doi:10.1007/s11249-004-8081-1
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Significant improvement in load capacity, wear resistance, friction coefficient etc. of tribological mechanical components can be obtained by forming regular micro-surface structure in the form of micro-dimples on their surfaces. A feasibility study was performed both theoretically and experimentally using the Laser Surface Texturing (LST) technique to produce the micro-dimples. Each micro-dimple can serve either as a micro-hydrodynamic bearing in cases of full or mixed lubrication or as a micro-reservoir for lubricant in cases of starved lubrication conditions. Theoretical models were developed, and laboratory tests were performed, to investigate the potential of LST in tribological components like mechanical seals, piston rings and thrust bearings. In the entire laboratory tests, friction was substantially reduced with LST compared to the non-textured components.