Friction Characteristics and Topography of Tribofilms from Anti-Wear Additives Applied to Metal V-Belt Type CVT Fluids


This study has investigated potential links between tribological performance and the morphology of tribofilms formed from anti-wear additives with application to metal V-belt pushing type continuously variable transmission fluids (B-CVTFs). The influence of metal–metal tribological properties of anti-wear additives was evaluated using a ball on plate tribometer, enabling friction and lubricant film formation to be monitored during reciprocating tests. Contact mode atomic force microscopy was utilised to investigate the nature of tribofilms at the nanometre scale. As a result, an additive formulation composed of hydrogen phosphite and over-based calcium sulphonate in a hydro-cracked mineral Group II base oil demonstrated a synergism with 8% higher friction coefficient and more stable film formation than the individual additive cases, providing a positive outcome for a B-CVTF. Tribofilm species produced by a chemical reaction between hydrogen phosphite and over-based calcium sulphonate were densely deposited on the wear scar to form a rougher surface, which may explain the higher friction observed.

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Correspondence to K. Narita.

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Narita, K., Priest, M. Friction Characteristics and Topography of Tribofilms from Anti-Wear Additives Applied to Metal V-Belt Type CVT Fluids. Tribol Lett 35, 45–56 (2009).

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  • Belt CVT
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Anti-wear additives
  • Boundary lubrication
  • AFM