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Original Article

Journal of Reinforced Plastics

and Composites

Wear and mechanical properties of Nylon 0(0) 19

! The Author(s) 2017
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66Al2O3 microcomposite
DOI: 10.1177/0731684417706107

Lalit Guglani and TC Gupta

Composite of Nylon 66 with different proportions of microparticle Al2O3 were made by compounding on a twin screw
extruder. The sliding wear and mechanical properties of the resulting microcomposite of 2 to 8 wt.% Nylon 66Al2O3
were investigated. The study of sliding wear under different loads, velocity and sliding distance combinations was done
using pin-on-disk equipment. The results show that wear rate reduces with addition of microparticles and lowest wear is
exhibited by 2 wt.% Al2O3Nylon 66 composite. The lowest friction coefficient is also observed for 2 wt.% Al2O3-Nylon
66 composite and the value increases with increasing load, sliding velocity and sliding distance. The mechanical properties
such as flexural strength and modulus, tensile strength and modulus, compressive and impact strength improved with the
addition of alumina and maximum values are observed for 6 wt.% composite. The heat deflection temperature of the
microcomposite increased with increasing weight % of alumina. Scanning electron microscopy images of the worn
surfaces were examined to understand the wear mechanism. The improved mechanical and tribological properties of
Nylon 66Al2O3 composite will enhance the application of plain Nylon 66.

Microcomposite, mechanical properties, sliding wear, Nylon 66, aluminium oxide, coefficient of friction

Nylon is used for prosthetic sheaths, plastic lamin-

Introduction ations, bushings, suction valves and nylon stockings to
Most advances of human society over the past century cover prostheses.4 Nylon 66 is a potential thermoplastic
have been facilitated by the use of plastics. Plastics are material, which is widely used for various engineering
versatile, cost-eective, require less energy to produce applications, due to their excellent properties such as
than alternative materials like metal or glass, and can high strength, toughness, excellent corrosion resistance,
be manufactured to have many dierent properties. good wear and abrasion resistance and favourable self
Due to these characteristics, polymers are used in lubricating property.5 Nevertheless, there are certain
diverse health applications like disposable syringes limitations of Nylon 66 such as higher coecient of
and intravenous bags, sterile packaging for medical friction (COF) and sliding wear under dry conditions,
instruments as well as in joint replacements, tissue increased wear and friction under high load conditions,
engineering, etc.1 In the ever-changing eld of orthotics high water absorption and so on.6 Thus, improvising
and prosthetics, recent advancements have been the properties of Nylon 66 is needed to increase their
achieved with the use of new composite materials and application in more challenging requirement.
resins.2 Composite materials are strong and exhibit
greater resistance to corrosion-especially water and
environmental damage, but they retain their mechan-
ical properties, impact resistance and maintain superior Mechanical Engineering Department, Malaviya National Institute of
performance in a wide temperature range. Technology, India
The new developments in carbon bre, glass bre
Corresponding author:
composite materials are increasing their applications Lalit Guglani, Research Associate, Mechanical Engineering Department,
due to their weight to strength ratio, high stiness Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur 302017, India.
and good fatigue resistance.3 Email:
2 Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites 0(0)

It is easier and cost eective to tailor made the exist- made with nanoscale particle of Al2O3 was investigated
ing material by modifying its properties by adding inor- by Schwartz et al.16 and found that the lowest wear was
ganic llers instead of developing a new material. obtained for composite with 2 vol.% ller, whereas
Dierent types of micro and nano particles of talc, COF was higher with addition of ller except with
graphite, PTFE, MoS2, TiO2, Al2O3, etc. are generally 10 vol.% alumina and the exural strength also reduced
added to various polymers including Nylon 66 to with ller %. Another work concluded that the friction
improve the desired properties. By the addition of two coecient of the PA6/Al2O3 nanocomposites was
or more dierent materials to the polymer composite larger than that of monomer casting PA6 but less
is developed which is having unique properties.7 than that of microcomposite and decreased with load,
From the previous researches, it is known that the but the wear rate is lowest for 3% nano Al2O3 content
3.04.0 wt.% Al2O3 polimide nanocomposite registered and the microcomposites also demonstrated lower wear
the lowest wear volume loss under relatively high load than pure Nylon 6.17
and it also exhibited lower friction coecient.8 Zhao In the present study, Nylon 66Al2O3 microcompo-
et al.9 investigated the thermal conductivity and mech- site were investigated for sliding wear at dierent load,
anical properties of the epoxy resin/Al2O3 composite sliding velocity and sliding distance combinations and
and found that heat conducting property increases the mechanical properties in detail.
with the increase in the content of Al2O3 and reaches
0.46 W/mK at 30% micron Al2O3. When the mass frac-
tion of Al2O3 is 20%, the mechanical properties of the Experimental work
composite are better. In another study, it was found
that addition of relatively low percentage of Al2O3
nanoparticle to epoxy resin led to an impressive Zytel 101 L NC 010 grade of Nylon 66 material was
improvement of dynamic mechanical and thermal obtained from M/s DuPont India Limited and the
properties and the SEM images showed that the surface ller Aluminium Oxide active (neutral activity III)
roughness increased with the addition of nanoalu- was obtained from M/s Merck specialties Pvt. Ltd.,
mina.10 Cho et al.11 found that the tensile strength of Mumbai, India.
Al2O3vinyl ester resin can be improved with decreas-
ing the particle size of ller, however composite with
Procedure for composite preparation
3 vol.% nanoparticles resulted in a lower tensile
strength than that with microparticles due to the Aluminium oxide particles were rst mixed with Nylon
likely poor dispersion of nanoparticles at higher par- 66 polymer and compounded using twin screw extruder
ticle loading. Bhimaraj et al.12 investigated the friction of 40 L/D and screw rpm 40 (M/s Lab Tech Engineers
and wear properties of PET lled with alumina nano- Company Ltd., Thailand, Model: TARCT) Feeding
particles and the results revealed that 2% addition of zone to metering zone temperature prole was 237 C,
ller resulted in increasing the wear resistance by nearly 254 C, 256 C and 259 C. Also, the barrel was kept at
2 times with a 10% decrease in average COF over the temperature proles of 255 C, 263 C, 266 C, 268 C,
unlled polymer. Wear resistance varies independent of 270 C, 272 C and 274 C from hooper to die. Four
crystallinity, whereas COF is aected both by crystal- types of composite granules were prepared by adding
linity and nanoparticles. 2%, 4%, 6% and 8% weight of Al2O3 particles of size
Another research concluded that 5 wt.% nanoalu- passing through mesh size of 40 to Nylon 66 material.
mina incorporated C4 e-BMI-toughened epoxy nano-
composites showed the greatest improvement in wear
resistance compared to higher alumina concentration.13
Specimen preparation and mechanical testing
Evgeni et al.14 investigated that the alumina nanopar- Injection moulded specimens were prepared on 80 ton
ticles aect the melt velocity of the polypropylene/ machine from M/S JIT, Philippines using test specimen
nylon blends, whereas it is insignicant on either mould as per ASTM D 256, D 638, D 648, D 695 and D
polypropylene or nylon melts. In another study of 790 standards for conducting mechanical tests for vari-
nano and micro Al2O3 reinforced monomer casting ous properties like Izod Impact, Tensile, Flexural,
nylon, it was found that the tensile strength increased Compression and HDT. The specimens were moulded
up to 52% when 3 wt.% of nano Al2O3 particles were with a temperature prole of 220 C, 268 C and 269 C.
added and the thermal and tensile property of nano The Universal Tensile Testing Machine Model: AG-IS
Al2O3/MCN composite were better than that of micro from M/s Shimadzu Ltd., Japan was used for conduct-
Al2O3/MCN composite when the same weight percent- ing Tensile, Compression and Flexural tests at the cross
age of Al2O3 particles were used.15 The tribological head speed of 50 mm/min for tensile and 1.3 mm/min
behaviour of polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) composite for compression and exural tests.
Guglani and Gupta 3

The Izod Impact test was performed on the impact

tester from M/s Tinius Olsen, UK and heat deection
Tensile strength
temperature (HDT) test with M/s Gotech Testing From Figure 1, it can be noted that the tensile strength
Machine Inc., Taiwan; Model HV 2000 A machine. increases but only marginally with the increase in ller
content up to 6 wt.% and therafter it reduces drastic-
ally. At 8 wt.% Al2O3, the tensile strength becomes less
Sliding wear test than that of pure Nylon 66. The improvement in tensile
The pin-on-disc type wear and friction monitoring test strength can be attributed to the high strength, homo-
ring of M/s Magnum make was used for conducting the genous distribution and good interfacial adhesion of
sliding wear test. The disc was made of EN31 hardened the ller in the composite. The reduction in strength
steel having a track radius of 50 mm and variable speed at higher loading may be due to the conglomeration
of 480, 670, 860, 1050 and 1240 rpm. The injection of ller particles resulting in stress concentration lead-
moulded specimen of size 12.7  12.7  25.4 mm was ing to failure. Dass et al.18 also reported the increase in
held stationary in the xture and the disc is rotated tensile strength of Al2O3Epoxy composite from 5 to
while a normal load is applied through a lever mechan- 10 wt.% and decrease at a ller content of 15 wt.%,
ism. The sliding wear tests were performed under dif- whereas another study15 reported the increase in tensile
ferent normal loading of 50 N, 60 N, 70 N, 80 N, 90 N
and 100 N keeping the sliding velocity of 6.5 m/s and
sliding distance of 2000 m. Also, the tests were con- 80
ducted at variable sliding velocities of 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5
and 6.5 m/s at constant normal load of 100 N and slid- 79
ing distance of 2000 m. In another combination, the Tensile Strength (MPa) 78
tests were performed for dierent sliding distances of
500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 m at sliding velocity of 6.5 m/s 77

and normal load of 100 N. The material volume loss 76

from the composite specimen during the wear test is
measured using precision electronic weighing balance
having an accuracy of 0.001 g. 74


Results and discussion 72

0 2 4 6 8
Mechanical properties Concentration of Al2O3 (wt.%)

The value of mechanical properties of the Al2O3Nylon

66 composite material determined as per ASTM stand- Figure 1. Relationship between tensile strength and concen-
ard is given in Table 1. tration of Al2O3.

Table 1. Mechanical properties of Al2O3Nylon 66 composite material.

Nylon 66 with Al2O3

S. No. Name of test Units Test methods 0% 2% 4% 6% 8%

01. Density g/cc ASTM D 792 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18
03. Tensile strength MPa ASTM D 638 75.0 76.0 77.0 79.0 73.0
04. Elongation % ASTM D 638 23 7.91 7.38 7.04 6.7
05. Tensile modulus MPa ASTM D 638 1200 1388 1408 1439 1313
06. Izod impact (notched) KJ/m2 ASTM D256 5.10 5.24 5.96 6.02 5.88
07. Flexural strength MPa ASTM D 790 111 116 118 119 115
08. Flexural modulus MPa ASTM D 790 3000 3296 3311 3518 3423
09. Compressive strength N/mm2 ASTM D 695 76 84 86 88 86

10. Heat deflection temperature C ASTM D 648 66.2 66.8 68.0 69.4 71.9
11. Rockwell hardness HRc ASTM D 785 97 100 102 104 105
4 Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites 0(0)

strength of nano composite of Al2O3monomer casting 1450

nylon up to 3 wt.% but decrease in tensile strength with
increase in particle size from nano to micro. Guo 1400
et al.19 also observed the increase in tensile strength

Tensile Modulus (MPa)

by 60% for 3 wt.% nano alumina vinyl ester composite. 1350
Thus the increase in tensile strength is in line with the
ndings of most of other researchers. 1300

Tensile modulus
The addition of any mineral ller to the polymer results 1200
in reduction in elongation and the increase in tensile
0 2 4 6 8
strength, thus resulting in increase in tensile modu-
Concentration of Al2O3 (wt. %)
lus.1921 In this case from Figure 2, it can be noted
that the value of tensile modulus rst increases expo-
nentially by 17% on addition of 2 wt.% micro alumina Figure 2. Relationship between tensile modulus and concen-
particles to Nylon 66, then it gradually increases up to tration of Al2O3.
6 wt.% and thereafter it reduces at higher ller loading
as reduction in tensile strength is noted along with
reduction in elongation.

Flexural strength and modulus
Flexural Strength (MPa)

The exural strength and modulus of Al2O3Nylon 66 116

composites at various ller loadings are shown in
Figures 3 and 4, respectively. It is noted that the ex-
ural strength increases with the addition of micro alu-
mina from 111 MPa at 0 wt.% Al2O3 to 119 MPa at
6 wt.% Al2O3, whereas exural modulus increased 112
from 3000 to 3516 MPa. The improvement in proper-
ties can be attributed to the homogeneous dispersion 110
of the llers in the composites and good interfacial 0 2 4 6 8
adhesion between the ller and polymer. Further add- Concentration of Al 2O3 (wt.%)
ition of micro alumina resulted in decrease in its
values. It is believed that the aggregation of ller par- Figure 3. Relationship between flexural strength and concen-
ticles at higher concentration is responsible for the low tration of Al2O3.
value of exural modulus. The reported results are in
agreement with the ndings of other researches such
as Omrani et al.10 who observed the increase in ex-
ural properties at low loadings of up to 2 wt.% nano
alumina to epoxy and when the level of loading was 3500
Flexural Modulus (MPa)

over 2 phr, the exural modulus is decreased. On simi-

lar lines, Dass et al.18 reported the increase in exural
strength up to 10 wt.% micro alumina epoxy compos- 3300
ite and reduction thereafter. Another study by
Mahapatra and Patnaik22 also noticed that addition
of 10 wt.% alumina to polyester resin improves the 3100
exural strength but further addition causes reduction
in strength. 3000

0 2 4 6 8 10
Impact strength Concentration of Al 2O3 (wt.%)

From the results of Figure 5, it is noted that the impact

strength increases by about 18% up to 6 wt.% addition Figure 4. Relationship between flexural modulus and concen-
of the micro alumina particles to Nylon 66. The value tration of Al2O3.
Guglani and Gupta 5


Heat deflection temperature ( 0C)

Izod Impact (Notched) (KJ/m )



5.8 70

5.6 69

5.4 68


0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8
Concentration of Al 2O3(wt.%) Concentration of Al 2O3 (wt.%)

Figure 5. Relationship between Izod impact and concentration Figure 7. Relationship between heat deflection temperature
of Al2O3. and concentration of Al2O3.


88 500
0wt.% Al 2O3
Compressive Strength (MPa)

2wt.% Al 2O3
400 4wt.% Al 2O3
Wear Rate (mm )

6wt.% Al 2O3

8wt.% Al 2O3

80 200


0 2 4 6 8 0
50 60 70 80 90 100
Concentration of Al2O3 (wt.% )
Load (N)

Figure 6. Relationship between compressive strength and

Figure 8. Relationship between wear rate and load of the
concentration of Al2O3.
composites (sliding velocity: 6.5 m/s, sliding distance: 2000 m).

increased more with the initial addition of 4 wt.% alu- 0 wt.% loading to 88 N/mm2 at 6 wt.% of alumina and
mina and is marginally increased with further addition it reduces on further addition of ller and at 8 wt.%
of ller up to 6 wt.% and the impact strength reduces at alumina it reaches to 86 N/ mm2, but still it is more
higher loads. Mahapatra and Patnaik22 seen that than the value of plain Nylon 66. Dass et al.18 also
impact strength of unlled glass bre-polyester com- reported that the compressive strength of the m-cresol
posite increases by about 1015% with incorporation novalac epoxy composites increases with an increase in
of alumina particles and also observed that impact the ller content from 5 to 15 wt.%.
strength marginally increases when wt.% of llers is
increased from 10 to 20%.
The HDT of the composite is reported in Figure 7 and
Compressive strength
from that we note the increase in its value with the
Figure 6 shows that the addition of micro alumina par- addition of alumina and it reaches to 71.9 C at
ticles to Nylon 66 resulted in increase of the compres- 8 wt.% from the value of 66.2 C for pure Nylon 66.
sive strength and the value increases from 76 N/mm2 at The addition of inorganic llers to Nylon normally
6 Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites 0(0)

results in increasing the HDT and thus enhancing its
0wt.% Al2O3 applications at elevated temperatures.23,24
2wt.% Al2O3
400 4wt.% Al2O3
6wt.% Al2O3 Tribological properties
Wear Rate (mm )

8wt.% Al2O3
300 Wear rate. The wear rate is calculated by measuring the
wear volume in mm3 for the experiments conducted at
200 various wt.% micro aluminaNylon 66 composites as a
function of load, sliding velocity and sliding distance
100 and the results are plotted in Figures 810, respectively.
It is observed that the wear rate increases with the
increase in the applied normal load, sliding velocity
2 3 4 5 6 7 and sliding distance for various wt.% composites with
Sliding Velocity (m/s) the increase in ller loading. However, the wear rate

Figure 9. Relationship between wear rate and sliding velocity

of the composites (load: 100 N, sliding distance: 2000 m). 0.9 0wt.% Al2O3
0.8 2wt.% Al2O3
4wt.% Al2O3

Coefficent of friction ()
0.7 6wt.% Al2O3
500 0wt.% Al2O3
0.6 8wt.% Al2O3
2wt.% Al2O3
400 4wt.% Al2O3 0.5
6wt.% Al2O3
Wear Rate (mm )

8wt.% Al2O3
300 0.3


100 0.0
2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0
SlidingVelocity (m/s)
400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200
Sliding Distance (m) Figure 12. Relationship between coefficient of friction and
sliding velocity of the composites (load: 100 N, sliding distance:
2000 m).
Figure 10. Relationship between wear rate and sliding distance
of the composites (load: 100 N, sliding velocity: 6.5 m/s).

0.84 0wt.% Al2O3 0.7
0.77 2wt.% Al2O3
Coefficient of friction ()

0.70 0.6
Coefficienct of friction ()

4wt.% Al2O3
0.63 6wt.% Al2O3
0.56 8wt.% Al2O3
0.49 0.4
0.42 0wt.% Al2O3
0.35 0.3 2wt.% Al2O3
0.2 4wt.% Al2O3
6wt.% Al2O3
0.14 0.1 8wt.% Al2O3
0.00 0.0
50 60 70 80 90 100 500 1000 1500 2000
Load (N) Sliding Distance (m)

Figure 11. Relationship between coefficient of friction and load Figure 13. Relationship between coefficient of friction and
of the composites (sliding velocity: 6.5 m/s, sliding distance: sliding distance of the composites (load: 100 N, sliding velocity:
2000 m). 6.5 m/s).
Guglani and Gupta 7

values were less than that of pure Nylon 66 for the were prone to disengage from the matrix due to poor
micro composite of 4 wt.% alumina from Figure 8 adhesive strength.17
and 6 wt.% alumina from Figures 9 and 10. The
lowest wear rate is observed in case of 2 wt.% compos-
ite and the wear rate is linear up to load 90 N, sliding
velocity 6.5 m/s and distance 1500 m and thereafter with The eect on COF of Nylon 66Al2O3 composites with
increased slope. The decrease in the wear rate at lower respect to load, sliding velocity and distance are shown
ller loading can be attributed to the dispersion of in Figures 1113. It is noted that the addition of small
micro alumina in the form of a single particle in the quantity of alumina reduces the COF and lowest COF
matrix and could give full advantage to the combin- is for 2 wt.% Al2O3Nylon 66 composite. The COF of
ation properties of the composite. The increase in 2 wt.% Al2O3Nylon 66 lies from 0.1 to 0.5 under vari-
wear rate at higher loading is because the micro ous combinations of load, sliding velocity and sliding
Al2O3 tended to produce stress concentration due to distance. COF increases with the percentage increase of
its larger and harder particles where some particles alumina from 2 to 8 wt.% but remains less than that of

Figure 14. Microstructure of unfilled and particulate filled composites (load: 100 N, sliding velocity: 6.5 m/s, sliding distance: 2000 m).
(a) Unfilled Nylon 66, (b) Nylon 66 + 2 wt.% Al2O3, (c) Nylon 66 + 4 wt.% Al2O3, (d) Nylon 66 + 6 wt.% Al2O3 and (e) Nylon
66 + 8 wt.% Al2O3.
8 Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites 0(0)

pure Nylon 66. Friction coecient increases linearly perpendicular to the sliding direction caused by the fric-
with varying load up to 80 N and thereafter increases tion force and heat. Increase in wear at higher wt.%
with increased slope. The sliding velocity also causes results in increase in friction coecient.
the friction coecient to increase linearly for all
ranges of sliding velocity from 2.5 to 6.5 m/s and the
friction coecient increases linearly up to 1000 m slid- Conclusions
ing distance and then with increased slope.
Cai et al.8 investigated that the nanocomposites with 1. The results show that wear rate reduces with add-
mass fractions of Al2O3 below 4 wt.% give slightly ition of alumina microparticles to Nylon 66 and
decreased friction coecients at both low and high slid- lowest wear is exhibited by 2 wt.% Al2O3Nylon
ing speeds compared to the bare polyimide and inferred 66 composite. The lowest friction coecient is also
that the sliding surface temperature of PI/Al2O3 observed for 2 wt.% Al2O3Nylon 66 composite and
increased with sliding speed resulting in micro melting the value increases with increasing load, sliding vel-
of the surface and the formation of a transfer lm of the ocity and sliding distance.
nanocomposite on the counterpart steel surface result- 2. The COF of 2 wt.% Al2O3Nylon 66 lies between
ing in reduced friction. With the increase in wt.% of 0.1 and 0.5 under various combinations of load, slid-
Al2O3, the transfer lm gets damaged due to abrasion ing velocity and sliding distance. COF increases with
action of the agglomerated particulates in the wear the percentage increase of alumina from 2 to 8 wt.%
debris thus increasing the friction. Study of micro and but remains less than that of pure Nylon 66.
nanocomposite of PA6/Al2O3 at a velocity of 0.42 m/s 3. The mechanical properties such as tensile strength,
for 1 h under loads of 50 to 250 N showed that friction tensile modulus, exural strength, exural modulus,
coecient reduced with increasing load and the friction compressive strength and impact strength increases
coecient of PA6/Al2O3 nanocomposite was slightly with the increase in wt.% of micro alumina up to
greater than that of the monomer casting PA6 and 6 wt.% and thereafter reduces.
that of micron Al2O3 was the highest.17 4. The HDT of the microcomposite increased with
increasing wt.% of alumina.
5. Thus the study concluded that the addition of micro
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
alumina particles to Nylon 66 resulted in improving
The worn out surfaces of the composite specimens are the mechanical and tribological properties eectively
subjected to SEM examination after the sliding wear at lower ller loading, whereas agglomeration of
test to understand the wear mechanism. The micrographs ller micro particles at higher loading resulted in
for various compositions are shown in Figure 14(a) to (e) decrease in the values.
from which it can be seen that wear grooves run parallel to
the sliding direction and were present at all stages of the
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
test. From Figure 14(a), it is noted that for plain Nylon
66, deep wear grooves are observed which can be attrib- The author(s) declared no potential conicts of interest with
uted to frictional heat generated due to the increase in respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
COF with increasing load and sliding velocity. Figure
14(b) shows that at 2 wt.% loading of alumina, the wear
is reduced as the state of dispersion was good and a suit- Funding
able adhesion between alumina particles and the polymer The author(s) received no nancial support for the research,
matrix have been attained at low level of loading.10 Figure authorship, and/or publication of this article.
14(c) to (e) reveals that as the wt.% of alumina increases,
the wear and groove depth also increases. More scung, References
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