Dry sliding of Cu-15 wt%Ni-8 wt%Sn bronze: Wear behaviour and microstructures

J. B. Singh, W. Cai, P. Bellon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dry sliding wear of Cu-15Ni-8Sn (in wt%) bronze against a stainless steel 440C counter surface is investigated using a pin-on-disc tester in air and flowing Ar gas. The microstructure of the debris, the worn surface and the subsurface of the pin have been characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The debris is found to comprise of particles of Fe2O3 and CuO phases, in addition to bronze particles. EDS analysis of the debris revealed that bronze picked up Fe and Cr elements from the stainless steel while the Fe2O3 particles picked up Cu, Ni and Sn elements from the pin, attesting the mechanical mixing of chemical species during the wear process. Cross-section SEM of the worn pin revealed a highly deformed subsurface layer, capped by a thin layer separating the outer surface and the deformed layer. Cross-sectional TEM investigations of the capped layer revealed it to be a set of mechanically mixed layers (MML) comprising nanograins with varying grain size and composition. SEM micrographs also revealed the formation of subsurface cracks in the vicinity of the interface between the deformed subsurface layer and the capping layer. Wear processes are discussed in the light of these microstructural observations, combined with wear rate and friction coefficient measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-841
Number of pages12
Issue number1-6 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Sep 10 2007


  • Cross-section microscopy
  • Cu-15 wt%Ni-8 wt%Sn bronze
  • Dry sliding wear
  • EDS
  • Mechanically mixed layer
  • Subsurface cracks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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