Applied Surface Science, Vol.428, 630-639, 2018
Improved tribological properties of the synthesized copper/carbon nanotube nanocomposites for rapeseed oil-based additives
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) decorated with uniform copper nanoparticles (Cu NPs) were successfully prepared via a facile approach towards surface modification of CNTs with spontaneous polydopamine (PDA). The structures and morphologies of the nanocomposites were investigated by different kinds of techniques, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS). Cu/PDA/CNTs nanocomposites were fabricated by growing the Cu NPs with an average diameter of 5 nm on the surfaces of PDA-modified CNTs. The CNTs functionalized with PDA layer not only provide an anchoring platform for the Cu NPs immobilization, but also endow Cu/PDA/CNTs with good dispersion stability when Cu/PDA/CNTs nanocomposites were used as lubricant additive. The tribological performance of the nanocomposites as the rapeseed oil lubricant additive, as well as Cu NPs, CNTs, and Cu/CNTs, was also investigated using a MS-T3000 ball-on-disk tribometer. Results show that the 0.2 wt% Cu/PDA/CNTs nanoadditive simultaneously reduce the friction and wear by 33.5% and 23.7%, respectively, outperformed the tribological performance of Cu NPs, CNTs, and Cu/CNTs nanoadditives. In addition, the presence of active sites in Cu/PDA/CNTs was beneficial to reduce the time of running-in period, give rise to the fastest speed to be stable of the friction coefficient curve as compared to the other nanoadditives. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy of the worn surfaces lubricated by the soybean oil with Cu/PDA/CNTs nanocomposites showed that formation of low shear strength tribofilms containing Cu/PDA/CNTs nanocomposites and its self-lubricating property was key factor in reduction of the friction and protection against wear and deformation. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.