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Highly wear-resistant and low-friction Si3N4 composites by addition of graphene nanoplatelets approaching the 2D limit.

ABSTRACT: Graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) have emerged as one of the most promising filler materials for improving the tribological performance of ceramic composites due to their outstanding solid lubricant properties as well as mechanical and thermal stability. Yet, the addition of GNPs has so far enabled only a very limited improvement in the tribological properties of ceramics, particularly concerning the reduction of their friction coefficient. This is most likely due to the challenges of achieving a continuous lubricating and protecting tribo-film through a high GNP coverage of the exposed surfaces. Here we demonstrate that this can be achieved by efficiently increasing the exfoliation degree of GNPs down to the few-layer (FL) range. By employing FL-GNPs as filler material, the wear resistance of Si3N4 composites can be increased by more than twenty times, the friction coefficient reduced to nearly its half, while the other mechanical properties are also preserved or improved. Confocal Raman spectroscopy measurements revealed that at the origin of the spectacular improvement of the tribological properties is the formation of a continuous FL- GNP tribo-film, already at 5?wt% FL-GNP content.

SUBMITTER: Tapaszto O 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5577236 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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