Oxidational wear of low alloy steel in gases other than air

  • Sattar J. Dawud

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A pin on disc wear machine has been used to study the oxidational wear of low alloy steel in a series of experiments which were carried out under dry wear sliding conditions at range of loads from 11.28 to 49.05 N and three sliding speeds of 2 m/s, 3.5 m/s and 5 m/s, in atmosphere of air, Ar, CO2, 100% O2, 20% O2-80% Ar and 2% O2-98% Ar. Also, the experiments were conducted to study frictional force, surface and contact temperatures and surface parameters of the wearing pins.
The wear debris was examined using x-ray diffraction technique for the identification of compounds produced by the wear process. Scanning electron microscopy was employed to study the topographical features of worn pins and to measure the thickness of the oxide films. Microhardness tests were carried out to investigate the influence of the sub-surface microhardness in tribological conditions.
Under all loads, speeds and atmospheres parabolic oxidation growth was observed on worn surfaces, although such growth is dependent on the concentration of oxygen in the atmospheres employed. These atmospheres are shown to influence wear rate and coefficient of friction with change in applied load. The nature of the atmosphere also has influence on surface and contact temperatures as determined from heat flow analysis. Unlubricated wear debris was found to be a mixture of αFe2O3, Fe3O4 and FeO oxide.
A model has been proposed for tribo-oxide growth demonstrating the importance of diffusion rate and oxygen partial pressure, in the oxidation processes and thus in determination of wear rates.
Date of AwardAug 1992
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJ.L. Sullivan (Supervisor)


  • unlubricated wear
  • partial pressure
  • tribo-oxidation
  • contact and surface tempreatures

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