Tribology Letters

, 65:40 | Cite as

Tribological Performance and Lubrication Mechanism of Alumina Nanoparticle Water-Based Suspensions in Ball-on-Three-Plate Testing

  • Anshun He
  • Shuiquan Huang
  • Jung-Ho Yun
  • Hui Wu
  • Zhengyi Jiang
  • Jason Stokes
  • Sihai Jiao
  • Lianzhou Wang
  • Han Huang
Original Paper


The lubrication performance of alumina (Al2O3) nanoparticle water-based suspensions was systematically investigated using a ball-on-three-plate testing configuration with alloy steel on stainless steel contact. The size and concentration of Al2O3 nanoparticle were varied to obtain optimal performance. The effects of testing load, sliding speed and contact surface roughness on the lubrication performance of the Al2O3 suspensions were investigated. It was found that 1 to 2 wt.% 30 nm Al2O3 nanoparticle suspensions showed up to 27% friction and 22% wear reduction, in comparison with water glycerol solution. Under different testing conditions, the suspensions also showed noticeably more stable and improved tribological performance. Wear mark analysis revealed that during tribological testing the nanoparticles formed a layer of dynamically balanced tribo-thin film, preventing the direct contact between asperities of alloy steel ball and stainless steel plate. The nanoparticles were also believed to fill up the trenches of the plate surface through mending effect and carry the wear debris induced in running-in period to avoid abrasive wear.


Alumina Nanoparticle Nano-scale friction Water-based Ball-on-three-plate 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial supports from Baosteel under project BA13012 and Australia Research Council (ARC) through Linkage Project (LP150100591). This work was performed in part at the Queensland node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF). ASH would like to acknowledge The University of Queensland (UQ) for the UQI Scholarship and the technical support and assistance from Dr. Heather Shewan. JRS acknowledges support from ARC Discovery Project DP150104147, and he acknowledges that the tribology-fixture used in this study is on loan from Anton Paar.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anshun He
    • 1
  • Shuiquan Huang
    • 1
  • Jung-Ho Yun
    • 2
  • Hui Wu
    • 3
  • Zhengyi Jiang
    • 3
  • Jason Stokes
    • 2
  • Sihai Jiao
    • 4
  • Lianzhou Wang
    • 2
  • Han Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Mining EngineeringThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Chemical EngineeringThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic EngineeringUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  4. 4.Research Institute (R&D Center)Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd.ShanghaiChina

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