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Research Article | Open Access

Current-carrying friction in carbon coated ball bearing

Peidong XUE1,2Cheng CHEN1Xue FAN1( )Dongfeng DIAO1( )
Institute of Nanosurface Science and Engineering (INSE), Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Micro/Nano Optomechatronics Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
College of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
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Graphical Abstract


In this work, we proposed a method for coating the whole surfaces of bearing balls uniformly by carbon film with a rotatable ball clamp. We studied the carbon/carbon friction with a self-designed current- carrying ball bearing friction test system. A notable and instant friction force drop of 28% and significant carbon film wear alleviation were found when currents were applied. By using TEM-, SEM-, and EDS-analysis, special carbon stacks with a mixture of large wear particles and oxide were found in the wear areas under current applied condition. We elucidated the current-carrying friction mechanisms as follows: (1) wear particles formation; (2) wear particles charged by tribomicroplasma; (3) formation of surface passivated carbon stacks under electric force; (4) sliding between passivated carbon surfaces. This work may facilitate the development of novel solid-lubricated ball bearings and lay some foundations for current-carrying rolling friction.

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Pages 2008-2020
Cite this article:
XUE P, CHEN C, FAN X, et al. Current-carrying friction in carbon coated ball bearing. Friction, 2023, 11(11): 2008-2020.








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Received: 31 December 2021
Revised: 02 July 2022
Accepted: 03 October 2022
Published: 13 March 2023
© The author(s) 2022.

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