Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the tribological performance of graphene oxide (GO) sheets as water-based lubricant additive when ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plates slid against 316L stainless steel ball using a reciprocating tribometre. Design/methodology/approach: The factors influencing the tribological performance were considered, including the viscosity of the GO dispersion, normal load, sliding velocity and the roughness of UHMWPE. The surface microstructure and properties of UHMWPE were studied by means of scanning electron microscopy, laser confocal microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. Findings: The results revealed that the GO dispersion reduced friction and sliding-wear. The surface images of the wear UHMWPE plates indicated that GO sheets were prone to adsorption on the surface and form a thin physical tribofilms at the substrate. Originality/value: Based on the experimental findings for the evolution of the microstructure morphology and the development of subsurface cracks, less debris and cracking can be observed in the UHMWPE plates lubricated by GO dispersion.
- Graphene oxide
- Water lubrication