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High throughput process and tribology of thin DLC films on rubber

Master thesis project: students applied and experimental physics

Rubber seals are commonly used in lubrication system to prevent dirt and water entering the system and to avoid leakage of lubricants. Dynamic rubber seals operate in sliding contact mode at relative high speed and under no or marginal lubrication condition. Under such a tough operational condition, contact seals are the major sources of friction of lubrication systems or bearings, which may take 50-70% of the total friction. Furthermore, rubber seals are subjected to severe wear leading to an increase of clearance, which is often the cause of loss of the function and failure of the lubrication system. Therefore, an advanced solution for dynamic rubber seals is stringent for bearings and automotive industries. Within the framework of a novel experimental approach, our previous research "Low frictional and wear resistant coatings on rubber seals" has accomplished enormous success in the design, deposition and characterization of flexible, low frictional and wear resistant diamond-like carbon (DLC) thin coatings on rubber seals. These DLC films have been successfully deposited by means of plasma CVD, with a batch deposition time between 45 minutes to two hours. To significantly reduce the deposition time and production cost, our current approach is to employ expanded thermal plasma (ETP) technique to deposit DLC thin films within tens of seconds. You will gain firsthand experience on ETP deposition and in depth knowledge on microscopic (SEM, AFM) characterization and mechnical/tribological testing of DLC films coated rubbers.

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Fig.: (a) 300nm thick flexible DLC film with crack network coated on HNBR rubber; (b) CoF of the DLC film in comparison with that of 1µm thick W DLC and Ti-DLC films coated on HNBR rubber.

Contact:
Dr. Yutao Pei, kamer gebouw 13.020, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tel 50-363 4344
Dr. Diego Martinez-Martinez, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Prof.dr. J. Th. M. De Hosson, gebouw 13.041, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it