Diffusion-Driven Frictional Aging in Silicon Carbide

EM Nordhagen and HA Sveinsson and A Malthe-Sorenssen, TRIBOLOGY LETTERS, 71, 95 (2023).

DOI: 10.1007/s11249-023-01762-z

Friction is the force resisting relative motion of objects. The force depends on material properties, loading conditions and external factors such as temperature and humidity, but also contact aging has been identified as a primary factor. Several aging mechanisms have been proposed, including increased "contact quantity" due to plastic or elastic creep and enhanced "contact quality" due to formation of strong interfacial bonds. However, comparatively less attention has been given to other mechanisms that enhance the "contact quantity". In this study, we explore the influence of crystal faceting on the augmentation of " contact quantity" in cubic silicon carbide, driven by the minimization of surface free energy. Our observations reveal that the temporal evolution of the frictional aging effect follows a logarithmic pattern, akin to several other aging mechanisms. However, this particular mechanism is driven by internal capillary forces instead of the normal force typically associated with friction. Due to this fundamental distinction, existing frictional aging models fail to comprehensively explain the observed behavior. In light of these findings, we derive a model for the evolution of contact area caused by diffusion-driven frictional aging, drawing upon principles from statistical mechanics. Upon application of a normal force, the friction force is increased due to plastic creep. This investigation presents an alternative explanation for the logarithmic aging behavior observed and offers the potential to contribute to the development of more accurate friction models. GRAPHICS .

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