An Adhesion-Dominated Rolling Friction Regime Unique to Micro-scale Ball Bearings
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- Hanrahan, B.M., Misra, S., Beyaz, M.I. et al. Tribol Lett (2014) 56: 215. doi:10.1007/s11249-014-0401-5
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We demonstrate that micro-scale rolling bearings exhibit friction and wear properties markedly different from their macro-scale counterparts. A microfabricated testing platform uses variable rolling element diameters or vapor-phase lubricated interfaces to independently test friction force with varying contact area and surface energy. A linear, consistent, relationship between friction force and contact area is observed among different rolling element diameters. When surface free energy is altered through the introduction of vapor-phase lubrication, an 83 % decrease in friction is observed. When coupled with observed ball material adhered to the raceway, there is strong evidence for adhesion-dominated rolling friction regime at the micro-scale.