Tribology Letters

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 301–308 | Cite as

Tribological Characterisation of Air-Sprayed Epoxy-CNT Nanocomposite Coatings

  • H. R. LeEmail author
  • A. Howson
  • M. Ramanauskas
  • J. A. Williams
Original Paper


Epoxy-carbon nanotube (CNT) composites are promising coating materials for wear and corrosion critical applications such as marine bearings, shafts, bolts and gears. However, there are insufficient tribological data available for design. This article described the fabrication and tribological testing of an epoxy-CNT composite coating composed of a commercial epoxy primer and commercial CNT filler. The CNT filler was pre-treated so that it was compatible with epoxy resin and was dispersed using a ball milling process. A reciprocating sliding test rig was built for the measurement of friction and wear of the coatings which were subjected to multi-pass testing using the ball-on-plate sliding geometry. The rig allowed testing with either constant or varying normal force, along with measurement of normal and tangential forces. Thus, the coefficient of friction (COF) under ramping or constant normal force could be determined. Following testing, the samples were examined using an optical microscopy to determine the severity of any galling which had taken place. The coatings were found to display encouraging properties in all aspects of testing. COF values of around 0.2 were recorded under a nominal contact pressure up to 1 GPa. This coating can be used for components which require anti-corrosion and low friction properties.


Surface coating Carbon nanotubes Epoxy Composite Tribology 



The authors express their gratitude to Dr. Gari Harris and Mr. Martin Kieran at the School of Life Science, Dundee University, who assisted with the SEM observations and are also obliged to the Technician team and colleagues, particularly Mr. Tim Linford, Ms. Ruth Mackay, Dr. Richard Rothwell, Mr. Adedeji Kuye and Mr. Steven Clark for their assistance with sample preparation and testing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. R. Le
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Howson
    • 2
  • M. Ramanauskas
    • 3
  • J. A. Williams
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Marine Science and EngineeringUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  2. 2.Pacson Valves LimitedDundeeUK
  3. 3.Division of Mechanical Engineering & Mechatronics, School of Engineering, Physics and MathematicsUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  4. 4.Department of EngineeringUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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