Models of friction and wear of DLC films

Feodor M. Borodich*, Chad S. Korach, Leon M Keer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Wear and friction of DLC (diamond-like carbon) covered counterparts are under consideration. Experiments showed that abrasion is the leading wear mechanism at the beginning of the wear process. However, the ability of the surface to wear away the counterpart reduces very rapidly, often as a power law function of the cycle numbers. This phenomenon was explained assuming that the initial abrasiveness of a coating is determined by the number of the nano-sharp asperities that were in contact with the counterpart, i.e. by the number of the sharp asperities within the nominal region of contact. On this basis, a model of abrasive wear was developed, using the concept of statistical self-similarity of distribution of the nano-sharp asperities within the current contact region. After the sharp asperities were blunted or removed from the contact region, the wear is related either to phase transformations or to chemical mechanisms. Recent experimental studies of dry sliding between two hydrogenated DLC coated counterparts in low oxygen environment showed that adsorbates have considerable influence on friction and the friction coefficient increases with the increasing of the time interval between contacts. The observed friction phenomena are assumed caused by a reaction between the adsorbate and carbon atoms of the coatings, and when the slider passes a point on the track, it removes mechanically some adsorbate from the surface. The mechanical action leads to re-exposure of the surface to gases in the environment. We assume that there is a transient short-life high temperature field at the vicinities of contacting protuberances that may cause various transformations of the surface. We suppose that first an adsorbate molecule becomes physically adsorbed to the surface and then chemisorbtion may occur between the carbon atoms of the coating and the 'sticky' oxygen atoms. The atoms or molecules of adsorbate interact with the conterpart. Our modeling established a direct connection between this kind of molecular friction and gradual wear. Using the new adsorption-desorption model, the numerical analyses of the friction coefficient were compared with experimental DLC friction results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the World Tribology Congress III - 2005
Number of pages2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event2005 World Tribology Congress III - Washington, D.C., United States
Duration: Sep 12 2005Sep 16 2005


Other2005 World Tribology Congress III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, D.C.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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