Changes in the tribological behavior of an epoxy resin by incorporating CuO nanoparticles and PTFE microparticles

Thomas Ricco Ølholm Larsen, Tom Løgstrup Andersen, Bent Thorning, Andy Horsewell, Martin Etchells Vigild

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Different amounts of CuD nanoparticles are incorporated into both a neat epoxy resin and into an epoxy resin containing PTFE microparticles. The content of CuD is varied in the range of 0-10 vol.% while the PTFE content is fixed at 7.5 vol.%. The dispersion state of added particles is examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which show a relatively good dispersion of both kinds of particles. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Vickers hardness measurements show no clear changes in glass transition temperature or hardness as a function of thenano-CuO content. However, both parameters are reduced when PTFE is added. Friction and wear data is collected using a custom-made tribotester of the pin-on-disk type. Measurements are performed under dry-sliding conditions against smooth steel counterfaces. When a pressure-velocity (pv) condition of 0.25 MPa, 6.0 m1s is applied the following is found: without PTFE, the coefficient of friction (p,) is roughly independent of the nano-CuO content. When PTFE is added, an average reduction in p, of 35% is found in the CuD range of 0-0.4 vol.%. At higher CuD concentrations the friction lowering effect of PTFE deteriorates. Addition of CuD increases wear relative to the neat epoxy at all concentrations. When nano-CuO is added to epoxy with PTFE incorporated, the wear rate decreases slightly up to a CuD content of 0.4 vol.% after which it increases. The measurements are repeated for some of the composites using a smoother counterface. This gives rise to significantly less wear, which for composites without PTFE is attributed to formation of a protective transfer film. At a pv condition of 1.16 MPa, 1.0 m1s the following is found: composites without PTFE generally show an unsteady behavior with high average wear rates whereas composites with PTFE generally show a good friction and wear performance. The best results are seen at a CuD content in the range of 0.1-0.4 vol.%. The latter shows a positive synergistic effect of adding a small amount of nano-CuO together with PTFE into the epoxy resin.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)203-213
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • PTFE microparticles
  • Friction
  • Nanocomposites
  • Epoxy resin
  • CuO nanoparticles
  • Wear


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