Tribology Letters

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 481–490 | Cite as

Effects of Interfacial Bonding on Friction and Wear at Silica/Silica Interfaces

Original Paper


Static friction between amorphous silica surfaces with a varying number of interfacial siloxane (Si–O–Si) bridges was studied using molecular dynamic simulations. Static friction was found to increase linearly with the applied normal pressure, which can be explained in the framework of Prandlt–Tomlinson’s model. Friction force was found to increase with concentration of siloxane bridges, but with a decreasing gradient, with the latter being due to interactions between neighboring siloxane bridges. In addition, we identified atomic-level wear mechanisms of silica. These mechanisms include both transfer of individual atoms accompanied by breaking interfacial siloxane bridges and transfer of atomic cluster initialized by rupturing of surface Si–O bonds. Our simulations showed that small clusters are continually formed and dissolved at the sliding interface, which plays an important role in wear at silica/silica interface.


Silica wear Frictional aging Molecular dynamics 



The authors acknowledge helpful discussions with Professor Robert Carpick, Professor Terry Tullis, Dr. David Goldsby, and Professor Qunyang Li. This work is supported by NSF Grant No. EAR-0910779 and the Army Research Office Grant No. W911NF-12-1-0548.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Science ProgramUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Materials Science and Engineering DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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