The use of thin polymeric coatings to prevent fretting corrosion and metallic contact in steel-on-steel systems

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A fundamental study was conducted to investigate the ability of thin polymeric coatings to prevent metallic contact and fretting corrosion in steel-on-steel systems. Ten polymer types were chosen for study: polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyimide (PI), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), low-density polyethylene (LOPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polysulfone (PSO) and polystyrene (PS). These polymers were applied as thin films to a steel disk which was in turn fretted by a normally-loaded steel sphere.

The experimental investigation consisted of two phases. In the first phase, the lives of the ten polymer types were evaluated over a range of normal loads from 11.1 to 44.5 N. In the second phase, optical and electron microscopy were used to document the fretting process at the sphere-film interface as a function of time.