Tribology Letters

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 33–41 | Cite as

Friction and Wear Properties of Silicon Carbide in Water from Different Sources

  • Mitsuo MatsudaEmail author
  • Koji Kato
  • Atsushi Hashimoto
Original Paper


Low friction and low wear of SiC sliding against itself in water at room temperature have been well reported in the past 20 years, and some practical applications have been developed. However, the properties of friction and wear in pure, deionized or distilled water have been mainly observed and not in water from sources in nature. In this article, the fundamental properties of friction and wear between SiC ball and disk are observed in water from ground, river, and sea, and the results are compared with those in deionized water in the viewpoints of modes of lubrication and wear and the resultant values of friction coefficient and wear rate. The smallest friction coefficient (μ = 0.005) in steady state is observed in deionized water and the largest (μ = 0.013) in sea water. The smallest wear rate (w s = 2.2 × 10−7 mm3/Nm) is observed in sea water and the largest (w s = 3.1 × 10−7 mm3/Nm) in deionized water. The intermediate values of μ and w s between the smallest and the largest ones are observed in ground and river water. The modes of lubrication and wear, which generated observed values of μ and w s, are considered as mixed lubrication and tribochemical wear. The chemical elements of Na, Cl, Mg, and K in sea water observed on wear particles and pits are thought effective to generate the largest value of μ and the smallest value of w s.


Ceramics Water Boundary lubrication friction Boundary lubrication wear 



Authors thank JTEKT Co. for supplying SiC balls for this study and thank Prof. K. Adachi, Tohoku University, for his help and discussion to carry out the experiment in this study. The kind advice of Prof. N. Umehara, Nagoya University, on chemical analysis of wear scars is very much appreciated.


  1. 1.
    Tomizawa, H., Fischer, T.E.: Friction and wear of silicon nitride and silicon carbide in water: hydrodynamic lubrication at low sliding speed obtained by tribochemical wear. ASLE Trans 30(1), 41–46 (1987)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fischer, T.E., Tomizawa, H.: Interaction of tribochemistry and microfracture in the friction and wear of silicon nitride. Wear 105, 29–45 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sasaki, S.: The effect of water on friction and wear of ceramics. J. Jpn. Soc. Lubr. Eng. (Junkatsu) 33(8), 620–628 (1988)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wong, H.C., Umehara, N., Kato, K., Nii, K.: Fundamental study of water-lubricated ceramic bearings. Bull. JSME C 61(590), 4027–4032 (1995)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang, X., Kato, K., Adachi, K.: The critical condition for the transition from HL to ML in water-lubricated SiC. Tribol. Lett. 16(4), 253–258 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wong, H.C., Umehara, N., Kato, K.: The effect of surface roughness on friction of ceramics sliding in water. Wear 218(2), 237–243 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Etsion, I., Halperin, G., Brizmer, V., Kligerman, Y.: Experimental investigation of laser surface textured parallel thrust bearings. Tribol Lett 17(2), 295–300 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wang, X., Kato, K., Adachi, K., Aizawa, K.: Loads carrying capacity map for the surface texture design of SiC thrust bearing sliding in water. Tribol. Int. 36, 189–197 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wang, X., Adachi, K., Otsuka, K., Kato, K.: Optimization of the surface texture for silicon carbide sliding in water. Appl. Surf. Sci. 253, 1282–1286 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Adachi, K., Otsuka, K., Wang, X., Kato, K.: Effects of surface texture on water lubrication properties of advanced ceramics. J. Jpn. Soc. Abras. Technol. 50, 107–110 (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Uchidate, M., Iwabuchi, A., Liu, H., Shimizu, T.: SEM observation and EPMA analysis of tribochemical products under water lubricated conditions. Tribologists 49(2), 181–188 (2004). (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chen, M., Kato, K., Adachi, K.: The difference in running-in period and friction coefficient between self-mated Si3N4 and SiC under water lubrication. Tribol. Lett. 11(1), 23–28 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kitaoka, S., Tsuji, T., Katoh, T., Yamaguchi, Y., Kashiwagi, K.: Tribological characteristics of SiC ceramics in high temperature and high pressure water. JACS 77(7), 1851–1856 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chen, M., Kato, K., Adachi, K.: Friction and wear of self-mated SiC and Si3N4 sliding in water. Wear 250, 246–255 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Xu, J., Kato, K., Hirayama, T.: The transition of wear mode during the running-in process of silicon nitride sliding in water. Wear 205, 55–63 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sugita, T., Ueda, K.: Material removal mechanism of silicon nitride during rubbing in water. Wear 97, 1–8 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ficher, T.E., Sexton, M.D.: The tribochemistry of oxidative wear. In: Lacombe, P. (ed.) Physical chemistry of the solid state: applications to metals and their compounds, pp. 97–106. Elsevier, Amsterdam (1984)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Umehara, N., Endo, H., Kato, K.: Water lubrication mechanism in sliding of SiC on itself. Proc. Int. Trib. Conf. Nagasaki 2000(2), 863–868 (2001)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Xu, J., Kato, K.: Formation of tribochemical layer of ceramics sliding in water and its roll for low friction. Wear 245, 65–75 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gates, R.S., Hsu, S.M.: Tribochemistry between water and Si3N4 and SiC: induction time analysis. Tribol. Lett. 17(3), 399–407 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringNihon UniversityKoriyamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of EngineeringNihon UniversityKoriyamaJapan

Personalised recommendations