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Epoxy, ZnO, and PTFE nanocomposite: friction and wear optimization


To lower the friction coefficient and increase the wear resistance of epoxy, nanoparticles of zinc oxide and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) were added in small volume percents to an epoxy matrix. Tribological testing of the samples in this study was completed on a linear reciprocating tribometer with a 250 N normal load and a 50.8 mm/s sliding speed. Several samples were made and tested following a modified Simplex Method optimization procedure in order to find a volume percent for optimized wear resistance and friction coefficient. The sample with the optimum wear rate consisted of 1 volume percent of zinc oxide nanoparticles and 14.5 volume percent of PTFE nanoparticles. It had a wear rate of k = 1.79 × 10−7 mm3/Nm; 400× more wear resistant than neat epoxy. The sample with the optimum friction coefficient consisted of 3.5 volume percent of zinc oxide nanoparticles and 14.5 volume percent of PTFE nanoparticles and had a friction coefficient of μ = 0.113, which is almost a 7× decrease in friction coefficient from neat epoxy.

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This material is based upon work supported under an AFOSR-MURI grant FA9550-04-1-0367. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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Correspondence to W.G. Sawyer.

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McCook, N., Boesl, B., Burris, D. et al. Epoxy, ZnO, and PTFE nanocomposite: friction and wear optimization. Tribol Lett 22, 253–257 (2006).

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  • PTFE
  • epoxy
  • zinc oxide
  • nanocomposites
  • optimization
  • Simplex Method
  • wear rate
  • friction coefficient