Phase Change Additives in Solid Surfaces for Tribological and Other Applications

  • Eliminates the need for external lubrication of parts made from advanced polymers
  • Cost effective solution using materials readily available in the market

Abstract
Overview

Parts made of advanced polymers are considered invaluable substitutes for the heavier and costly conventional alternatives in a variety of industries especially aerospace and power generation. Reducing the friction and wear of such parts opens up and expands their application to designers and engineers.

Technology

Small amounts (1-10%) of affordable encapsulated phase change materials (PCM) can be added to the advanced polymers during their sintering process without any extra preparation. Bulk or coated polymer retains some of the PCM at its interface which is released during the sliding process. Released PCM melts instantly and generates a lubricious film on the counter surface and renders the lubrication regime to significantly yield lower friction and wear. This technology eliminates the need for any external lubrication, while producing a low friction as a fully liquid submerged contact (COF≈0.02). Type of PCM, its encapsulation material, and the mixing amount could be optimized to suit the application.

Contact Information

Name: Shyamala Rajagopalan

Email: SRajagopalan@tamu.edu

Phone: 979-862-3002