Study of plowing and friction at the surfaces of plastic deformed metals

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Physics and Astronomy


Experimental and analytical investigations of plowing and friction were conducted at the surfaces of well-polished lead, aluminum, copper, nickel, molybdenum, and tungsten to study the mechanism of the load/penetration dependency. The experimental tests were performed with a Nano-Indenter XP of MTS and a Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM), Nanoscope IIIa of Digital Instruments. In addition to make indentation and measure the hardness and Young's modulus, the indenter was used to make scratches at the surface of metals under different normal load while the penetration depth and frictional force encountered during the scratching were recorded. The SPM, operated mostly in the contact mode. was used to examine the scratch profile. Under the test conditions, plastic deformation dominated at the surfaces of the metals. An analytical model was established to express plastically deformed contacts, based on plowing of a conical-shaped indenter with a hemispherical tip at a plastic deformed surface. Penetration depth and scratched volume were calculated, which is in good agreement with experimental observation. The frictional coefficient mu was also calculated with the model, which accounted for plowing as well as the adhesion force between the indenter and surface. Beside fair agreement of experimental data and calculated values on mu under the loads applied, the model indicated a dramatic rise in friction coefficient under very low loads, which was not observed in the tests. The discrepancy was discussed, and it was believed that the dramatic increase in mu is for the calculated u and may be due to the assumed dominant contribution of adhesion force in actual contact load with decreasing external load. and it appears only the adhesion energy Deltagamma is significant. The actual adhesion energy Deltagammabetween our diamond indenter and metal surface in our test condition might be smaller than the value used in calculation. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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