A study of chlorinated polymer coatings in a fretting interface

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The purpose of this study is to determine whether chlorinated polymers such as polyvinylchloride (PVC) and polyvinylidenechloride (PVDC) degrade in a fretting interface. Polymer coated 52100 steel balls are fretted against a polished 1045 steel plate for 30 minutes in air and nitrogen at 25-30 percent and greater than 95 percent relative humidity. ESCA analysis is used to determine interface chemistry and help conclude that the color formation observed in the polymer coating is due to polymer degradation. Additional tests of thermally stabilized PVC on a steel plate supported this theory and aided in understanding the polymers performance in the interface. Experiments with the “pure” PVC on a glass plate showed that iron at the interface can initiate and catalyzes the polymer degradation. The effects of the different atmospheres, as well as the effect of humidity is also presented.