For machines with mechanical components, friction is an unavoidable enemy. It’s a main supply of service failure and might scale back the lifespan of any equipment, from bicycles and automobiles to airplanes and meeting strains.
New analysis led by the College of Pittsburgh unveils the atomic-scale friction of a single tungsten asperity, or tough edge, in actual time, displaying atomic movement for the primary time with electron microscopy. The work, accomplished by two labs within the Swanson College of Engineering, was lately revealed within the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
“Till now, nobody has been capable of really see the atomically resolved friction course of with a clear-cut interface, so the connection between the friction mechanisms and the interface hasn’t been absolutely understood,” mentioned Guofeng Wang, CNG School Fellow and professor of mechanical engineering and supplies science, whose lab collaborated on this work. “On this examine, we have been capable of really see the sliding pathway of interface atoms and the dynamic pressure and stress evolution on the interface that has solely beforehand been proven by simulations.”
Wang’s group collaborated with now-retired John Swanson Endowed Professor Scott X. Mao’s analysis group within the Swanson College to supply the primary visualization of friction on the atomic scale. Utilizing a high-resolution transmission electron microscope, Mao’s group was capable of really view the motion of atoms throughout the floor when two surfaces made contact and moved. Wang’s group was then in a position to make use of their pc simulations to confirm what the microscopic visualizations confirmed and perceive extra concerning the forces at play.
Although this examine targeted on tungsten atoms due to their excessive resistance to the microscope’s warmth, the tactic could be utilized to any materials to grasp friction and put on.
“What we discovered is that regardless of how clean and clear the floor is, friction nonetheless happens on the atomic degree. It is fully unavoidable,” mentioned Wang. “Nonetheless, this data can result in higher lubricants and supplies to attenuate friction and put on as a lot as doable, extending the lifetime of mechanical methods.”
Xiang Wang et al, Atomic-scale friction between single-asperity contacts unveiled by in situ transmission electron microscopy, Nature Nanotechnology (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41565-022-01126-z
College of Pittsburgh
Understanding friction, the unavoidable enemy (2022, July 25)
retrieved 3 August 2022
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