Chemomechanical Effects in Wear Processes


Efforts to understand the effects of chemically active environments on the mechanical properties of metals and nonmetals have received considerable attention in recent years. Ductility and related properties are known to be affected by exposure to specific environments, and several independent investigations have attempted to explain these effects with emphasis on interactions of environmental species with near surface layers of the material. In metals, emphasis has been placed on explaining these effects by surface energy, surface charge and species adsorption interactions with near surface layers. Also, the effects of surface films, such as oxides, are thought to influence the outcome of these interactions. It is proposed that these phenomena elicit chemomechanical effects, or effects on near surface dislocation generation and motion, and the implication that fracture and wear processes may be significantly affected is apparent. Though much has been theorized, very little about these explanations have been elucidated due to the limited amount of research that has been conducted. This study introduces an apparatus of indigenous design utilized with the intent of demonstrating these effects during wear processes. The effects were demonstrated for aluminum and nickel plates in sliding contact with a hard SiC counterface. Results indicate that the influences of active electrolytes on metals go beyond corrosive wear explanations. Chemomechanical effects in wear are demonstrated, as it is shown that applied polarization and axial stress affect metal wear rate in certain environments. Further, these effects support near surface dislocation motion influences by surface charge and adsorbed species interactions which may be synergistically complex. The potential impact on improving the efficiency of metal removal (machining) processes is well recognized, and is likely to provide the impetus for continued research in this area.


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Graduation Date





Desai, Vimal H.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Sciences





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Masters Thesis (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering; Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic

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