The effect of nano-scale surface texture on wear resistance of diamond-like carbon (DLC) films was studied using a reciprocating ball-on-flat tribometer in dry, humid, and liquid water environments. The nano-scale surface texture was produced by depositing ∼1 μm thick DLC films onto silicon substrates pre-textured with pyramidal wells and polystyrene spheres. The surface roughness of the textured DLC films was about 50 nm in both cases. The friction and wear behavior of the flat and nano-textured DLC films were tested with AISI 440C-grade stainless steel balls at a contact load creating about 360 nm deep Hertzian deformation which is significantly larger than the surface roughness. At this condition, nano-texturing did not affect the friction coefficient, but it significantly reduced the wear of DLC films in dry and humid nitrogen compared to flat DLC. In dry nitrogen, the nano-textured DLC films showed the ultra-low friction without substantial wear of DLC and deposition of thick transfer films onto the counter-surface. The wear reduction appeared to be related to the stress relief in the nano-textured DLC film. In liquid water, surface features on the nano-textured DLC films were diminished due to tribochemical oxidation and material removal at the sliding interface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)