5 years ago

Atom Probe Tomography Unveils Formation Mechanisms of Wear-Protective Tribofilms by ZDDP, Ionic Liquid, and Their Combination

Atom Probe Tomography Unveils Formation Mechanisms of Wear-Protective Tribofilms by ZDDP, Ionic Liquid, and Their Combination
Wei Guo, Jun Qu, Donovan N. Leonard, Jonathan D. Poplawsky, Xiahan Sang, Yan Zhou
The development of advanced lubricant additives has been a critical component in paving the way for increasing energy efficiency and durability for numerous industry applications. However, the formation mechanisms of additive-induced protective tribofilms are not yet fully understood because of the complex chemomechanical interactions at the contact interface and the limited spatial resolution of many characterizing techniques currently used. Here, the tribofilms on a gray cast iron surface formed by three antiwear additives are systematically studied; a phosphonium-phosphate ionic liquid (IL), a zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP), and an IL+ZDDP combination. All three additives provide excellent wear protection, with the IL+ZDDP combination exhibiting a synergetic effect, resulting in further reduced friction and wear. Atom probe tomography (APT) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) imaging and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) were used to interrogate the subnm chemistry and bonding states for each of the tribofilms of interest. The IL tribofilm appeared amorphous and was Fe, P, and O rich. Wear debris particles having an Fe-rich core and an oxide shell were present in this tribofilm and a transitional oxide (Fe2O3)-containing layer was identified at the interface between the tribofilm and the cast iron substrate. The ZDDP+IL tribofilm shared some of the characteristics found in the IL and ZDDP tribofilms. Tribofilm formation mechanisms are proposed on the basis of the observations made at the atomic level.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b04719

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b04719

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