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Nanotribology of iron-alloy microstructures

Nanotribology mechanisms, i.e. friction and wear, gain greater importance as the size of technological devices shrinks to the micro- and nanoscale. This project focuses on tribological experiments at the micro- and nanoscale of iron alloy microstructures.

Different pearlite and ferrite samples are at first prepared by conventional metallography and then investigated prior to deformation, i.e. different cementite lamellae spacings in pearlitic steel. Indentation and scratching tests were performed on these samples and the resistence of microstructural elements against wear is quantified. The friction coefficient is evaluated for the different microstructures and the deformation induced microstructural evolution is studied via several microscopy methods (confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and focused-ion beam cross-sectioning).

The project aim is to determine the influence of specific material properties, like carbon content and cementite size, on the wear mechanisms at the micro- and nanoscale.

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