Surface and tribological characteristics of tribofilms formed in the boundary lubrication regime with application to internal combustion engines

A. Morina, J. H. Green, A. Neville, M. Priest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One of the biggest challenges in engine tribology is to formulate appropriate lubricants, which will increase fuel efficiency by reducing friction, yet still provide good wear resistance. The lubricant should also be formulated to limit particulate and gaseous exhaust emissions to the levels allowed by current regulations. In real lubricant formulations there can be 10-15 additives and the interactions between additives must be taken into account. The effects of eliminating the friction modifier and friction modifier plus anti-wear additive zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP) from the additive package of fully formulated lubricants on friction, wear and wear film forming characteristics have been examined. Tests have been conducted under lubricated wear conditions at bulk oil temperatures of 20, 50, and 100 °C using a reciprocating pin-on-plate tribometer. Boundary lubrication conditions were varied according to the value of starting lambda ratio. The wear film has been examined by Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). In order to investigate the morphology of the reaction films formed by the additive packages of these lubricants, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was used. In this paper it has been shown that tribofilms, derived from ZDDP/surface interactions, affect friction, the extent of which is determined by tribological conditions. Detergent interactions with ZDDP enhance the complexity of the tribofilm and enrich the level of C in the film whilst affecting the friction and wear response. Through integration of tribological measurements and surface analysis, progress towards improving the nature of interactions is made and forms the focus of the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-452
Number of pages10
JournalTribology Letters
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Additive interactions
  • Atomic force microscope
  • Boundary lubrication
  • Friction

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