Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China The Chinese Journal of Nonferrous Metals

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Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China

Vol. 29    No. 1    January 2019

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Surface finish effect on dry sliding wear behavior of thermally oxidized commercially pure zirconium

School of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Abstract:The effect of surface polishing on the wear behavior of thermally oxidized commercial pure zirconium (CP-Zr) under dry sliding conditions was investigated. Surface ground CP-Zr with a roughness of 0.21 μm (Ra) was thermally oxidized (TO) at 650 °C for 6 h. After TO, some samples were polished to smoothen the surface with a finish of 0.04 μm (Ra). The response of the polished and unpolished TO samples to dry sliding wear was investigated under unidirectional sliding conditions. The results show that surface polishing after TO affects the dry sliding wear behavior of TO CP-Zr in several aspects, including coefficient of friction, wear rate, crack formation and oxide layer breakdown. In particular, it is found that smoothening the TO surface favors the formation of semi-circular cracks in the wear track and accelerates oxide layer breakdown during dry sliding. A slightly rough TO surface helps to reduce the tendency of the oxide layer towards cracking and to increase the wear resistance at high contact loads. The mechanisms involved are discussed in terms of asperity contacts, crack formation, propagation and final fracture.


Key words: zirconium; thermal oxidation; zirconium oxide; surface finish; friction; wear

ISSN 1004-0609
CN 43-1238/TG

ISSN 1003-6326
CN 43-1239/TG

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