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Sequence of Stages in the Microstructure Evolution in Copper under Mild Reciprocating Tribological Loading

: Greiner, C.; Liu, Z.; Strassberger, L.; Gumbsch, P.


ACS applied materials & interfaces 8 (2016), Nr.24, S.15809-15819
ISSN: 1944-8244
ISSN: 0013-936X
ISSN: 1944-8252
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
GR 4174/1
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Gu 367/30
Fraunhofer IWM ()

Tailoring the surface properties of a material for low friction and little wear has long been a goal of tribological research. Since the microstructure of the material under the contact strongly influences tribological performance, the ability to control this microstructure is thereby of key importance. However, there is a significant lack of knowledge about the elementary mechanisms of microstructure evolution under tribological load. To cover different stages of this microstructure evolution, high-purity copper was investigated after increasing numbers of sliding cycles of a sapphire sphere in reciprocating motion. Scanning electron and focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy were applied to monitor the microstructure changes. A thin tribologically deformed layer which grew from tens of nanometers to several micrometers with increasing number of cycles was observed in cross-sections. By analyzing dislocation structures and local orientation changes in the cross-sectional areas, dislocation activity, the