PTFE, seals, three-body abrasion, wear mechanism, abrasive particle size


Abrasive wear is a common failure phenomenon that often limits the service life of sealing elements. Evaluation and comparison of the abrasion resistance of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) were conducted using Al2O3 particles with sizes in the range 5 to 200 μm on a pin-on-flat tribo-tester under dry reciprocating sliding conditions at room temperature. Based on the examined worn surface characteristics of both PTFE and 316L stainless steel (as a counterpart) and the analyzed coefficient of friction (COF) evolutions, the wear mechanism and particle size effect have been explored in detail. The results demonstrate that the abrasive size is the main contributing factor, which can drastically impact the wear mechanism and tribological properties of tribo-pairs. The COF exhibits different evolution characteristics (trends) for different abrasive sizes. For moderate particle sizes, the COF trends become more complicated and the most evident wear of the metallic counterpart is evident. The activity behaviors of abrasives are dominated by the particle size. Particles can becomes embedded in one of the tribo-pair materials to plough-cut the counterpart, thus causing two-body abrasive wear. The abrasives can also behave as free rolling bodies, which play the role of third body to realize three-body "PTFE- abrasive-316L" abrasion. When abrasives are involved in the wear process, both the wear rate and COF of the metallic counterpart increase, but the material removal rate of the PTFE is reduced. The results obtained can offer guidelines regarding the design and protection of seals.


Tsinghua University Press