A physically-based abrasive wear model for composite materials Page: 2 of 22
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A Physically-Based Abrasive Wear Model
for Composite Materials
Gun Y. Lee1'3, C. K. H. Dharan', and R. O. Ritchie2,3
'Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 -1750
2Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1 760
Material Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720
SUMMARY: A simple physically-based model for the abrasive wear of composite materials is
presented based on the mechanics and mechanisms associated with sliding wear in soft (ductile)
matrix composites containing hard (brittle) reinforcement particles. The model is based on the
assumption that any portion of the reinforcement that is removed as wear debris cannot contribute
to the wear resistance of the matrix material. The size of this non-contributing portion of the
reinforcement is estimated by modeling the three primary wear mechanisms, specifically
plowing, interfacial cracking and particle removal. Critical variables describing the role of the
reinforcement, such as its relative size and the nature of the matrix/reinforcement interface, are
characterized by a single contribution coefficient, C. Predictions are compared with the results of
experimental two-body (pin-on drum) abrasive wear tests performed on a model aluminum
particulate-reinforced epoxy matrix composite material.
KEYWORDS : Composites, abrasive wear, interfacial toughness, size effect
As advanced engineering materials, composites are used in many applications where high
wear resistance is required; these include electrical contact brushes, cylinder liners, artificial
joints, and helicopter blades. Indeed, compared to the monolithic materials, wear resistance can
generally be enhanced by introducing a secondary phase(s) into the matrix material [1-6]. In this
fashion, the wear properties can be varied substantially through changes in the microstructure, in
terms of the morphology, volume fraction and mechanical properties of the reinforcing phase, and
the nature of the interface between the matrix and reinforcement.
In order to obtain the optimum wear properties without compromising the beneficial
properties in the matrix material, an accurate prediction of the wear of composites is essential.
Unfortunately, for abrasive wear, existing models for composites are highly simplified and do not
readily predict the role of the composite microstructure. In general, they are based on two
simplified equations, the first of which, the inverse rule of mixtures, was introduced for two-
phase composites by Khruschov :
Mi + M2 (1)
WC. WMi WM2
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Lee, Gun Y.; Dharan, C.K.H. & Ritchie, Robert O. A physically-based abrasive wear model for composite materials, article, May 1, 2001; Berkeley, California. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780737/m1/2/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.