Research Papers

Surface Texturing of Tribological Interfaces Using the Vibromechanical Texturing Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Aaron Greco, Steven Raphaelson, Kornel Ehmann, Q. Jane Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

Chih Lin

Bearings, Seals, and Lubricants Group, Baker Hughes, 9110 Grogan’s Mill Road, Houston, TX 77380

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 131(6), 061005 (Nov 10, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000418 History: Received April 06, 2009; Revised September 20, 2009; Published November 10, 2009; Online November 10, 2009

Modifying the surface topography of tribological interfaces has the potential to improve the friction performance of certain mechanical components that experience sliding contact. Vibromechanical texturing (VMT), an improved texturing method based on the convenient turning process, is introduced. This process is performed on a standard computer numeric controlled (CNC) lathe, which is retrofitted with a piezoelectric-actuated tool positioning stage. Controlled vibratory motion of the tool is used to cut microsized dimples into the surface of the workpiece. Two types of workpiece materials are used: aluminum and hardened steel, with three forms of workpiece geometries: outer cylinder, inner cylinder, and flat/end face. The accuracy of the texturing method is compared with a basic surface topography model, which predicts texture dimensions within an 11% error for aluminum and up to 90% error for hardened steel, using the current open-loop control system. Further analysis of the textured samples shows no significant signs of process-induced damage. It is demonstrated that this VMT method is a versatile, accurate technique that has potential to be a cost-effective means for surface texturing of tribological components.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Illustration of the VMT process and resulting texture: (a) schematic of the VMT setup, (b) VMT dimpled steel rod surface (after postprocess polishing) showing texture dimensions: dc—circumferential diameter, dt—axial diameter, Lc—circumferential spacing, Lt—axial spacing

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Figure 2

Surface topography model: (a) illustration of the tool path and texture dimensions, (b) illustration of the axial profile, (c) 3D simulated textured surface

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Figure 3

Side view depiction of the VMT manufacturing process: (Step No. 1) establishing Δ tool displacement, (Step No. 2) Vibrotexturing

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Figure 4

Texturing process schematic and resulting surface topography: (a) schematic of the VMT system, (b) MPS schematic

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Figure 5

Illustrations of the three texturing setups (not to scale) with optical images of resulting textured surfaces: (a) outer diameter, workpiece outer diameter 3.8 cm, (b) end/flat face, workpiece diameter 7.0 cm, (c) inner diameter, workpiece inner diameter 3.8 cm

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Figure 6

Plot of piezo excitation and displacement during Step No. 2 of the validation testing

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Figure 7

3D surface profiles of the experimentally generated textures; the aluminum surface was polished after texturing while the steel surface was as textured (1.4×1 mm2)

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Figure 8

Cross section analysis of the dimple on the hardened steel surface

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Figure 9

Cross sectioned dimple on hardened steel: (a) optical, (b) SEM



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