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Ultra Hard Materials for Tribological Application

Objective



At present, there is a tremendous industrial need for
materials with major engineering applications in these
situations where tribology is important, exemplified by
machining and metal forming (cutting/milling inserts,
extrusion/drawing dies), bearings, gears, valve
guides/tappets in engines and in valves, seals and
bearings involving fluid and gas transport often under
corrosive conditions. The majority of these applications
are currently served by hard steels and WC based hard
metals with or without surface coatings. New materials or
improved existing materials, however, are needed. The
materials of interest will have to combine high hardness,
modulus and wear resistance coupled with relatively low
density, resulting in low inertia under reciprocating
stresses. The fundamental understanding of the
relationship between composition, microstructure,
processing route, wear behaviour and performance should
be clarified in order to optimally use the engineered
materials in tribological applications.

The broad objectives of this basic research proposal are:

i. To further develop and refine processing routes and
microstructures of 3 novel types of TiB2 based materials,
two ceramics and one cermet, which have potential
applications as low density/high modulus wear and bearing
components with emphasis on minimising fabrication costs,
coupled with higher performance than existing components.
Two grades of each material type will be developed.
Target properties for these materials are: for the first
class of ceramics, a toughness of up to 10 MPa m1/2
coupled with a hardness of up to 25 GPa at a density of
3.5 g/cm3. For the second class of ceramics, a toughness
of up to 10 MPa m1/2 coupled with a hardness > 15 GPa at
a density of 5.5 g/cm3. For the cermets, a toughness of
up to 16 MPa m1/2 coupled with a hardness of 17 GPa and a
density of 6 g/cm3. In addition, the difficult to
quantify chemical inertness of the selected materials in
the tribological environment has been taken into account.

ii. To establish a fundamental data base for
microstructure / tribology relationships and to
understand micro mechanisms for wear with reference to
surface contact stress and environment.

iii. To assess the performance of selected
microstructures in specific industrial application
conditions, via simulation in laboratory tests for ball
valves and grinding quills and as real component cutting
tool inserts, under realistic operational conditions. The
fundamental understanding of the composition /
microstructure / processing / wear behaviour /
performance relationship will enable application specific
design, what is largely lacking at present.

Coordinator

University of Warwick
Address
Gibbet Hill Road Warwick Science Park
CV4 7AL Coventry
United Kingdom

Participants (5)

CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS E INVESTIGACIONES TECNICAS DE GUIPUZKOA
Spain
Address
15,Paseo De Manuel De Lardizabal 15
20009 San Sebastian
Cerametal SARL
Luxembourg
Address
101,Route De Holzem
8201 Mamer
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
Address
2,Kasteelpartk Arenberg, 44
3001 Heverlee
Nottingham Trent University
United Kingdom
Address
Burton Street
NG1 4BU Nottingham
SKF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY B.V.
Netherlands
Address
16,Kelvinbaan 16
3439 MT Nieuwegein