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Friction surface development and its structure on carbon fibre reinforced silicon carbide disc

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posted on 26.06.2012, 12:22 by Yuan Wang
Carbon fibre reinforced ceramic composites (Cf/C-SiC) have been explored as lightweight and durable disc in a friction brake. This composite was manufactured through infiltration of liquid silicon into a Cf/C perform. It has heterogeneous microstructure, composed of three key phases, silicon carbide, Cf/C, and un-reacted residual silicon. The development of the transfer layer on the friction surface of Cf/C-SiC was studied through microstructural image registration of the surface after a range of braking stops on a laboratory-scale dynamometer test rig. When an organic pad was used as the counter face brake pad, it was found that a steady transfer layer was developed in silicon regions right after initial stops; in carbon-fibre/carbon (Cf/C) regions and most of the silicon carbide region, the friction surfaces were unsteady and any possible friction transfer layers were hardly built up. Large voids and cracks/crevices likely became pools to quickly and efficiently collect the transferred materials generated by the friction, but the compacts formed inside the pools were susceptible to be stripped off by further braking operation. Three types of friction surfaces were generalized: type I, the friction transfer layer had a steady relationship with the matrix and respectable longevity; type II, the transfer layer had an unstable relationship with the matrix and poor durability; type III, the friction transfer layer had a steady relationship with the matrix but short lifetime. After testing against organic pads under the laboratory scale dynamometer testing condition, the friction surface of each key phase in Cf/C-SiC composites disc was studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that the transfer layer developed on Si consists of fine particles of metal silicides, silicates and minerals. The substrate damage of Si was not observed, while the precipitates having high oxygen content were found in the substrate. Formation of an interfacial bonding between transfer layer and silicon substrate is believed to be the key factor for the formation of a stable transfer layer on Si. However, the interfacial bonding between transferred materials and SiC was not detected. Kinks are common features developed on the friction surface of SiC. The interface between carbon fibre and carbon matrix was experienced mechanical damage, in form of microcracks, and the transferred material was developed in the interface. Instead of transfer layer, a thin amorphous film, produced by friction induced amorphisation of carbon fibre, was developed on top of carbon fibre.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Materials


© Yuan Wang

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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