, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 193-202
Date: 17 Nov 2012

Dry Friction Between Laser-Patterned Surfaces: Role of Alignment, Structural Wavelength and Surface Chemistry

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The ability to tune friction by tailoring surface topographies at micron length scales and by changing the relative orientation of crystallites at the atomic scale is well established. Here, we investigate if the two concepts combine, i.e. if the relative orientation of surfaces affects dry friction between laser-textured surfaces. Laser patterning was used on austenitic stainless steel substrates and on tribometer testing balls made of 100Cr6 to create linear periodic arrays with different structural wavelengths or periodicities (5, 9 and 18 μm). Pairing each substrate with a ball of the same periodicity, the different arrays were subjected to dry sliding tests at 0°/90° relative alignment between the linear patters. We observe that the patterning reduces friction after running-in. The reduction increases with decreasing wavelength and also depends sensitively on the relative alignment and the chemistry of the sliding surfaces. Our results highlight the possibility to create tailored contacting surface geometries leading to tunable frictional properties.