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Definition of Brittleness: Connections Between Mechanical and Tribological Properties of Polymers.

Description: The increasing use of polymer-based materials (PBMs) across all types of industry has not been matched by sufficient improvements in understanding of polymer tribology: friction, wear, and lubrication. Further, viscoelasticity of PBMs complicates characterization of their behavior. Using data from micro-scratch testing, it was determined that viscoelastic recovery (healing) in sliding wear is independent of the indenter force within a defined range of load values. Strain hardening in sliding wear was observed for all materials-including polymers and composites with a wide variety of chemical structures-with the exception of polystyrene (PS). The healing in sliding wear was connected to free volume in polymers by using pressure-volume-temperature (P-V-T) results and the Hartmann equation of state. A linear relationship was found for all polymers studied with again the exception of PS. The exceptional behavior of PS has been attributed qualitatively to brittleness. In pursuit of a precise description of such, a quantitative definition of brittleness has been defined in terms of the elongation at break and storage modulus-a combination of parameters derived from both static and dynamic mechanical testing. Furthermore, a relationship between sliding wear recovery and brittleness for all PBMs including PS is demonstrated. The definition of brittleness may be used as a design criterion in selecting PBMs for specific applications, while the connection to free volume improves also predictability of wear behavior.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Hagg Lobland, Haley E.

Long Term Property Prediction of Polyethylene Nanocomposites

Description: The amorphous fraction of semicrystalline polymers has long been thought to be a significant contributor to creep deformation. In polyethylene (PE) nanocomposites, the semicrystalline nature of the maleated PE compatibilizer leads to a limited ability to separate the role of the PE in the nanocomposite properties. This dissertation investigates blown films of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and its nanocomposites with montmorillonite-layered silicate (MLS). Addition of an amorphous ethylene propylene copolymer grafted maleic anhydride (amEP) was utilized to enhance the interaction between the PE and the MLS. The amorphous nature of the compatibilizer was used to differentiate the effect of the different components of the nanocomposites; namely the matrix, the filler, and the compatibilizer on the overall properties. Tensile test results of the nanocomposites indicate that the addition of amEP and MLS separately and together produces a synergistic effect on the mechanical properties of the neat PE Thermal transitions were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to determine if the observed improvement in mechanical properties is related to changes in crystallinity. The effect of dispersion of the MLS in the matrix was investigated by using a combination of X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Mechanical measurements were correlated to the dispersion of the layered silicate particles in the matrix. The nonlinear time dependent creep of the material was analyzed by examining creep and recovery of the films with a Burger model and the Kohlrausch-Williams-Watts (KWW) relation. The effect of stress on the nonlinear behavior of the nanocomposites was investigated by analyzing creep-recovery at different stress levels. Stress-related creep constants and shift factors were determined for the material by using the Schapery nonlinear viscoelastic equation at room temperature. The effect of temperature on the tensile and creep properties of the nanocomposites was analyzed by examining tensile and creep-recovery behavior of ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: Shaito, Ali Al-Abed

Structure and Low-temperature Tribology of Lubricious Nanocrystalline ZnO/Al2O3 Nanolaminates and ZrO2 Monofilms Grown by Atomic Layer Deposition

Description: Currently available solid lubricants only perform well under a limited range of environmental conditions. Unlike them, oxides are thermodynamically stable and relatively inert over a broad range of temperatures and environments. However, conventional oxides are brittle at normal temperatures; exhibiting significant plasticity only at high temperatures (>0.5Tmelting). This prevents oxides' use in tribological applications at low temperatures. If oxides can be made lubricious at low temperatures, they would be excellent solid lubricants for a wide range of conditions. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a growth technique capable of depositing highly uniform and conformal films in challenging applications that have buried surfaces and high-aspect-ratio features such as microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices where the need for robust solid lubricants is sometimes necessary. This dissertation investigates the surface and subsurface characteristics of ALD-grown ZnO/Al2O3 nanolaminates and ZrO2 monofilms before and after sliding at room temperature. Significant enhancement in friction and wear performance was observed for some films. HRSEM/FIB, HRTEM and ancillary techniques (i.e. SAED, EELS) were used to determine the mechanisms responsible for this enhancement. Contributory characteristics and energy dissipation modes were identified that promote low-temperature lubricity in both material systems.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Romanes, Maia Castillo