Effect of tribochemical reaction on transfer-film formation by poly(tetrafluoroethylene)

Tasuku Onodera, Kenji Kawasaki, Takayuki Nakakawaji, Yuji Higuchi, Nobuki Ozawa, Kazue Kurihara, Momoji Kubo

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding tribochemical reaction mechanisms is necessary to develop a novel resin material that can easily slide on metallic parts. For this purpose, the chemical reaction dynamics between poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) resin and an aluminum surface were studied by using a quantum chemical molecular dynamics simulation [ Onodera, T., et al. J. Phys. Chem. C 2014, 118, 5390-5396 ]. The study showed that the PTFE tribochemically reacted with the oxidized surface of aluminum, forming two chemical products, namely, aluminum fluoride and depolymerized PTFE with a carbon double bond at the terminus of the PTFE polymer chain. The carbon backbone was exposed by changing to a double bond configuration, although that in genuine PTFE is fully covered by fluorine atoms. The subsequent chemical reaction of the polymer that reacts with gaseous molecules in the atmosphere (i.e., nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor) was first studied by density functional theory (DFT). The DFT calculation results show that the chemical reaction of PTFE with water vapor was the most likely to occur and that a carboxyl group was finally formed on the terminus of the PTFE chain. The effect of the chemical reaction with water vapor on formation of a PTFE transfer film on an aluminum surface, which directly affects tribological performance of the focusing system, was then investigated by a classical molecular dynamics method. By forming a carboxyl group as a reaction product with water vapor, the amount of PTFE transfer film on an aluminum fluoride surface (one of the tribochemical reaction products) was increased. On the other hand, less genuine PTFE (without a carboxyl group) was transferred to the aluminum fluoride. This study clarified that the transfer film is formed easily by the reaction of PTFE with atmospheric water vapor, which thereby improves the tribological performance of the PTFE/aluminum lubrication system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11820-11826
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 5 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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