Tribology Letters

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 387–395 | Cite as

Tribological Properties Mapping: Local Variation in Friction Coefficient and Adhesion

  • Rubén Álvarez-Asencio
  • Jinshan Pan
  • Esben Thormann
  • Mark W. RutlandEmail author
Original Paper


Tribological properties mapping is a new technique that extracts friction coefficient and adhesion maps obtained from lateral atomic force microscope (LAFM) images. By imaging the surface systematically as a function of load, a series of images can be tiled, and pixelwise fitted to a modified Amontons’ Law to obtain friction coefficient and adhesion maps. This removes the ambiguity of friction contrast in LAFM imaging which can be a function of the load used for imaging. In ambient laboratory, air and tetradecane, a sample of Vancron®40, commercial powder metallurgical tool alloy containing nitrogen, have been scanned using a standard silicon cantilever in order to obtain tribological data. The tribological properties mapping provides unique information regarding the heterogeneous alloy microstructure as well as shedding light on the tribological behavior of the alloy.


Friction AFM Atomic force microscope LFM Lateral atomic force microscope Nanotribology Friction coefficient mapping Adhesion Tool alloy Microstructure 



This project is part of the program “Microstructure, Corrosion and Friction Control” financed by SSF, the Swedish foundation for Strategic Research. We also thank the Swedish Research Council for financial support. Uddeholms AB, Sweden, is acknowledged for supplying the Vancron®40 samples and the microstructure information of the alloy. Useful discussions with Gunnar Dunér and Emily Cranston are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rubén Álvarez-Asencio
    • 1
  • Jinshan Pan
    • 1
  • Esben Thormann
    • 1
  • Mark W. Rutland
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surface and Corrosion Science, School of Chemical Science and EngineeringKTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Chemicals, Materials and SurfacesSP Technical Research Institute of SwedenBoråsSweden

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