Ambient and Nitrogen Environment Friction Data for Various Materials & Surface Treatments for Space Applications


A multivariate tribological evaluation of candidate materials, surface treatments and dry film lubricants is needed for design of moving mechanical components that function reliably in extreme conditions, including for long-duration space missions. In this study, linear reciprocating or unidirectional sliding friction data was collected using ball-on-flat tests. The balls were hardened 440C stainless steel (either uncoated or sputtered with MoS2) and flat surfaces were 440C stainless steel, Nitronic 60 stainless steel or Ti6Al4V titanium alloy with various surface treatments and/or dry film lubricants. Surface treatments included anodizing, nitriding and electrical discharge machining. The dry film lubricants included Microseal 200-1, sputtered MoS2 and a nano-composite coating i-Kote. The data contains applied normal load, measured friction force, calculated coefficient of friction, ball position, ambient temperature and relative humidity during testing. Tests were performed at different peak Hertzian contact pressure conditions ranging from 300 to 2000 MPa. Data is also available for flat surfaces that were vacuum baked at 150 °C after surface treatment and dry film coating as well as samples tested in inert gas (nitrogen) environment. This data can be used both to fundamentally understand the tribological properties of different material systems as well as to enable design of components for specific applications, conditions and duty cycles.

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Data Availability

The data described in this data note can be freely and openly accessed on DRYAD ( Please see Table 3 for details and links to the data.


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This research was supported by the NASA Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES) through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Grant No. NNX15AQ01. A portion of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology and was sponsored by NASA (80NM0018D0004). Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement by the United States Government or the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

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Correspondence to Ashlie Martini.

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Vellore, A., Romero Garcia, S., Johnson, D.A. et al. Ambient and Nitrogen Environment Friction Data for Various Materials & Surface Treatments for Space Applications. Tribol Lett 69, 10 (2021).

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  • Friction data
  • Coefficient of friction
  • Dry film lubricant
  • Nitriding
  • Anodizing
  • Ti alloy
  • MoS2
  • Microseal
  • i-kote