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Wear Maps and Models in Tribological Damage Analysis of SI3N4 Ceramics with Tribochemical Wear

Si3N4 ceramics and their composites are excellent materials for tribological applications due to their outstanding mechanical, thermal characteristics, combined with good wear and corrosion resistance. They are widely used in high temperature, heavy-duty loading conditions as automotive components or tools in manufacturing. However, their performance especially in friction application is difficult to assume, since wear mechanism of a certain material is a very complex procedure. Wear behaviour depends on several factors, such as the sliding speed, the temperature, the sliding time and the characteristics of the contact surfaces. The high number of the influencing factors, as well as their interaction represent serious obstacle of the perfect estimation of the wear behaviour of a certain material. These processes may be efficiently supported by wear maps enabling to estimate the wear behaviour in wide pressure/load ranges, furthermore facilitating to develop wear models of higher reliability. The applicability of the models however is restricted for a limited range of loading conditions, therefore many of them have failed during their (inappropriate) practical application.
 
Authors give a brief overview on the development and classification of the wear maps, then review the various wear models suggested in the last 60 years for ceramics. Based on theoretical and experimental considerations a novel wear model for Si3N4/multilayer graphene ceramics is suggested by combining a lateral crack- and tribochemical model found in the literature. The suggested new model provides a good estimation of the experimental results in the region of the tribochemical film formation. Its application fails only beyond this region, in case of very high normal loads and sliding speeds, that change the controlling wear mechanism, where the validity of the model ceases.
 
This paper highlights application of the C-Therm TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer.

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