Ultralow friction polymer composites were prepared by adding oil-loaded microcapsules into epoxy (EP) resin. Mono-dispersed polystyrene (PS)/poly alpha olefin (PAO) microcapsules with a diameter of ~2 μm and a shell thickness of ~30 nm were prepared by solvent evaporation method in an oil-in-water emulsion. The lubrication behaviors of the EP resin composites with oil-loaded microcapsules have been investigated under different loads and sliding speeds. As compared with the pure EP resin, the friction coefficient of the composite could be reduced to 4% (from 0.71 to 0.028) and the wear rate could be decreased up to two orders of magnitude. It was demonstrated that the released PAO oil from the microcapsules during the friction process produced a boundary lubricating film, which could prevent the direct contact of two rubbing surfaces, and thus leading to an extremely low friction coefficient and wear rate. Moreover, the composites with microcapsules could achieve comparable lubrication properties to the case under the external lubrication condition, while the former case could effectively minimize the lubricant leakage and improve the lubrication efficiency.


Tsinghua University Press