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Influence of Plasma Treatment on Carbon Fabric for Enhancing Abrasive Wear Properties of Polyetherimide Composites

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Interfacial adhesion between matrix and fiber plays a crucial role in controlling performance properties of composites. Carbon fibers have major constraint of chemical inertness and hence limited adhesion with the matrix. Surface treatment of fibers is the best solution of the problem. In this work, cold remote nitrogen oxygen plasma (CRNOP) was used for surface treatment. Twill weave carbon fabric (CF) (55–58 vol%) was used with and without plasma treatment with varying content of oxygen (0–1%) in nitrogen plasma to develop composites with Polyetherimide (PEI) matrix. The composites were developed by compression molding and assessed for mechanical and tribological (abrasive wear mode) properties. Improvement in tensile strength, flexural strength, and interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) was observed in composites due to treatment. Similarly, improvement in wear resistance (W R) and reduction in friction coefficient (μ) were observed in treated fabric composites when slid against silicon carbide (SiC) abrasive paper under varying loads. A correlation between wear resistance and tensile strength was slightly better than that in Lancaster–Ratner plot indicating that ultimate tensile strength (S) and elongation to break (e) were contributing to control the W R of the composites. It was concluded that enhanced adhesion of fibers with matrix was responsible for improvement in performance properties of composites, as evident from SEM, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy-Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR) technique.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge Prof. Brigitte Mutel from “BioMEMS” - Equipe “Procédés Plasma et Matériaux”, IEMN - UMR 8520, Université de Lille 1 Sciences et Technologie, France for extending plasma treatment facilities for this work.

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Correspondence to Jayashree Bijwe.

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Tiwari, S., Bijwe, J. & Panier, S. Influence of Plasma Treatment on Carbon Fabric for Enhancing Abrasive Wear Properties of Polyetherimide Composites. Tribol Lett 41, 153–162 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11249-010-9694-1

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  • Abrasive wear
  • SEM
  • FTIR
  • Self-lubricating composites
  • Wear mechanisms