Transient nanoscale tribofilm growth: analytical prediction and measurement
journal contributionposted on 15.07.2021, 12:32 by Michael Leighton, Nick MorrisNick Morris, Homer Rahnejat
A new method for simultaneous in situ measurement and characterisation of molybdenum-based tribofilms is presented, based on lateral force microscopy. The simultaneity of measurements is crucial for a fundamental understanding of the tribochemical phenomena. A new analytical method is also presented, which combines a BET multi-layer adsorption/desorption model for boundary-active lubricant species-surface combination with the modified shear-promoted thermal activation Arrhenius equation. Therefore, the expounded method integrates the mechanical, physical and chemical aspects of the adsorption-bonding process as a detailed multi-step phenomenon. The method provides detailed explanations of the measured tribofilm growth, in a fundamental manner, not hitherto reported in the literature. Therefore, the combined experimental methodology and modelling approach provides a significant advance in the understanding of tribofilm formation. Furthermore, the developed model has the potential to explain the behaviour of many complex lubricant formulations and the resulting multi-species tribofilms, generated through synergistic and/or antagonistic constituent adsorption and shear-promoted activation.
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