, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 147–154 | Cite as

Effect of carbon nanotubes on friction and wear of a piston ring and cylinder liner system under dry and lubricated conditions

  • Zhinan Zhang
  • Jun Liu
  • Tonghai Wu
  • Youbai Xie
Open Access
Research Article


This study involves the application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to a piston ring and cylinder liner system in order to investigate their effect on friction and wear under dry and lubricated conditions. Carbon nanotubes were used as a solid lubricant and lubricant additive in dry and lubricated conditions, respectively. Simulation and measurement of friction and wear were conducted using a reciprocating tribometer. Surface analysis was performed using a scanning electron microscope and an energy dispersive spectrometer. The results indicate that carbon nanotubes can considerably improve the tribological performance of a piston ring and cylinder liner system under dry sliding conditions, whereas improvement under lubricated conditions is not obvious. Under dry friction, the effective time of the CNTs is limited and the friction coefficient decreases with an increase in CNT content. Furthermore, the dominant wear mechanism during dry friction is adhesive.


carbon nanotubes piston ring tribological behavior friction wear 



The research presented in this paper was partially funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51575340 and 51575342) and Research Project of State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration (No. MSVZD201104).


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© The author(s) 2016

Open Access: The articles published in this journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhinan Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jun Liu
    • 2
  • Tonghai Wu
    • 3
  • Youbai Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and VibrationShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Education Ministry for Modern Design and Rotor-Bearing SystemXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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