Tribology Letters

, 67:32 | Cite as

Effect of Graphene Nanoplates Dispersed in Ethanol on Frictional Behaviour of Tool Steel Running Against Uncoated and DLC-Coated Tool Steel

  • Sukanta Bhowmick
  • Zaixiu Yang
  • Anindya Banerji
  • Ahmet T. AlpasEmail author
Original Paper


Friction tests conducted between two tool steel surfaces sliding under boundary-lubricated condition in ethanol containing 5 × 10−4 wt% graphene nanoplates (GNP) under the boundary-lubricated condition showed a low coefficient of friction (COF) of 0.18, compared to 0.31 without the addition of GNP, and generated graphene incorporating tribolayers at the contact surfaces. Oxidation of the steel surfaces at high-sliding cycles increased the COF. When a diamond-like carbon (DLC)-coated counterface was used against the tool steel in GNP-containing ethanol a low steady-state COF (µS) of 0.06 was observed, and the wear rates of the DLC-coated steel were decreased by 70% compared to sliding against an uncoated tool steel counterface. Tribolayers that consisted of graphene flakes formed on top of and within the iron oxide layers that were generated on the steel surfaces. The graphene layers were deformed and damaged according to Raman spectroscopy. Cross-sectional high-resolution TEM revealed that sliding contact caused bending and occasional fragmentation of graphene layers. The graphene layers deposited on top of the tribololayers provided low friction.


Graphene nanoplates Diamond-like carbon Tool steel Sliding friction Boundary lubrication Tribolayers 



The authors would like to thank Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for financial support through Green-SEAM Strategic Network program. Zaixiu Yang would like to thank the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for the financial support in studying at the Tribology of the Materials Research Centre (TMRC), University of Windsor.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sukanta Bhowmick
    • 1
  • Zaixiu Yang
    • 1
  • Anindya Banerji
    • 1
  • Ahmet T. Alpas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Materials EngineeringUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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