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Additives for tribological polymers used in bearing applications

SpecialChem / Jul 15, 2003

Generally, polymers have medium coefficients of friction: * Not as low as desired for sliding with other materials * Not as high as desired for antiskid applications. There are several ways to adapt the coefficient of friction and to increase the wear resistance of a given polymer: * Intrinsic lubrication: specific additives or special fibers are used * Surface modification: chemical or physical treatments, film laying * Extrinsic lubrication: lubricants. The large number of plastics and rubbers available make it possible to choose the best family to satisfy the best balance of (i) coefficient of friction, (ii) resistance to wear, and (iii) other suitable properties. The bearing design is also a significant factor that can contribute to avoid some polymer weaknesses. Several of these methods can be combined to satisfy a given problem. What is the problem? When two solids slide, one upon the other: * There is always: o A resistance to the movement. o An interface heating and consequently: + a decrease of the modulus, tensile strength, and abrasion resistance.

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