Increasing wear resistance of UHMWPE by loading enforcing carbon fibers: Effect of irreversible and elastic deformation, friction heating, and filler size

Sergey V. Panin, Lyudmila A. Kornienko, Vladislav O. Alexenko, Dmitry G. Buslovich, Svetlana A. Bochkareva, Boris A. Lyukshin

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The aim of the study was to develop a design methodology for the UltraHigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE)-based composites used in friction units. To achieve this, stress-strain analysis was done using computer simulation of the triboloading processes. In addition, the effects of carbon fiber size used as reinforcing fillers on formation of the subsurface layer structures at the tribological contacts as well as composite wear resistance were evaluated. A structural analysis of the friction surfaces and the subsurface layers of UHMWPE as well as the UHMWPE-based composites loaded with the carbon fibers of various (nano-, micro-, millimeter) sizes in a wide range of tribological loading conditions was performed. It was shown that, under the "moderate" tribological loading conditions (60 N, 0.3 m/s), the carbon nanofibers (with a loading degree up to 0.5 wt.%) were the most efficient filler. The latter acted as a solid lubricant. As a result, wear resistance increased by 2.7 times. Under the "heavy" test conditions (140 N, 0.5 m/s), the chopped carbon fibers with a length of 2 mm and the optimal loading degree of 10 wt.% were more effcient. The mechanism is underlined by perceiving the action of compressive and shear loads from the counterpart and protecting the tribological contact surface from intense wear. In doing so, wear resistance had doubled, and other mechanical properties had also improved. It was found that simultaneous loading of UHMWPE with Carbon Nano Fibers (CNF) as a solid lubricant and Long Carbon Fibers (LCF) as reinforcing carbon fibers, provided the prescribed mechanical and tribological properties in the entire investigated range of the "load-sliding speed" conditions of tribological loading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number338
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020



  • Carbon fibers
  • Computer simulation
  • Dry sliding friction
  • Elastic recovery
  • Friction heating
  • Polymer matrix composites
  • Tribological loading
  • Ultrahigh molecular weight PE
  • Wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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