Fast laser surface texturing of spherical samples to improve the frictional performance of elasto-hydrodynamic lubricated contacts
surface laser texturing, elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication, bearings, friction, film thickness
Textured surfaces offer the potential to promote friction and wear reduction by increasing the hydrodynamic pressure, fluid uptake, or acting as oil or debris reservoirs. However, texturing techniques often require additional manufacturing steps and costs, thus frequently being not economically feasible for real engineering applications. This experimental study aims at applying a fast laser texturing technique on curved surfaces for obtaining superior tribological performances. A femtosecond pulsed laser (Ti:Sapphire) and direct laser interference patterning (with a solid-state Nd:YAG laser) were used for manufacturing dimple and groove patterns on curved steel surfaces (ball samples). Tribological tests were carried out under elasto-hydrodynamic lubricated contact conditions varying slide-roll ratio using a ball-on-disk configuration. Furthermore, a specific interferometry technique for rough surfaces was used to measure the film thickness of smooth and textured surfaces. Smooth steel samples were used to obtain data for the reference surface. The results showed that dimples promoted friction reduction (up to 20%) compared to the reference smooth specimens, whereas grooves generally caused less beneficial or detrimental effects. In addition, dimples promoted the formation of full film lubrication conditions at lower speeds. This study demonstrates how fast texturing techniques could potentially be used for improving the tribological performance of bearings as well as other mechanical components utilised in several engineering applications.
Tsinghua University Press
G. BOIDI, P.G. GRÜTZMACHER, A. KADIRIC, F.J. PROFITO, I.F. MACHADO, C. GACHOT, D. DINI. Fast laser surface texturing of spherical samples to improve the frictional performance of elasto-hydrodynamic lubricated contacts. Friction 2021, 9(5): 1227-1241.