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Experimental and numerical atomistic investigation of the third body formation process in dry tungsten/tungsten-carbide tribo couples

: Stoyanov, P.; Romero, P.A.; Jaervi, T.; Pastewka, L.; Scherge, M.; Stemmer, P.; Fischer, A.; Dienwiebel, M.; Moseler, M.


Tribology letters 50 (2013), Nr.1, S.67-80
ISSN: 1023-8883
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
European Commission EC
FP7-PEOPLE; 272619; Topography Evolution
Fraunhofer IWM ()
tungsten; tungsten-carbide; third body; amorphization; mechanical mixing; molecular dynamics

The third body in tungsten/tungsten-carbide sliding systems is studied using a combination of experiments and atomistic simulations. Ex situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and focused ion beam analysis of the structural and chemical changes near the surfaces reveals that sliding of tungsten against tungsten-carbide results in plastic deformation of the W surface, leading to grain refinement, and the formation of a mechanically mixed amorphous layer on the WC counter body. Molecular dynamics simulations of W/WC sliding couples exhibit the formation of a nanoscale amorphous W/WC interface. The infrequent occurrence of atomic jamming events in the interface resulted in the emission of dislocations into the W bulk and the generation of amorphous shear bands in the WC counter body in agreement with the different third bodies observed in W and WC after the experiments.