The employment of surface texturing for improved tribological contacts has spread over the years. The possibilities of designing and manufacturing textured surfaces with predetermined geometries have multiplied as well as the need of performing experimental laboratory tests before applying the surfaces in an industrial context. In this paper, a number of experimental tests were performed using a novel test rig, called axial sliding test, simulating the contact of surfaces under pure sliding conditions. The aim of the experiments is to evaluate the frictional behavior of a new typology of textured surfaces, the so-called multifunctional surfaces, characterized by a plateau area able to bear loads and a deterministic pattern of lubricant pockets. Six surface typologies, namely three multifunctional and three machined using classical processes, were chosen to slide against a mirror-polished counterpart. A number of experiments were carried out at different normal pressures employing for all specimens the same reciprocating movement and the same lubrication. The measured friction forces were plotted against the incremental normal pressure, and the friction coefficients were calculated. The results comparison showed clearly how employing multifunctional surfaces can reduce friction forces up to 50 % at high normal loads compared to regularly ground or turned surfaces. Friction coefficients approximately equal to 0.12 were found for classically machined surfaces, whereas the values were 0.06 for multifunctional ones. All the specimens were characterized before and after testing. Wear occurrence was not detected on the tested surfaces except for the mirror-polished one which underwent all the experiments.
Tribology Letters, 2013, Vol 51, Issue 1, p. 171-180