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Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

On the interdependence between kinetics of friction-released

thermal energy and the transition in wear mechanisms
during sliding of metallic pairs
Hisham A. Abdel-Aal∗
Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology, York Technical College, 5426 Gwynne Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205, USA

Sliding of complying solids is often associated with the release of thermal energy. This energy accumulates within the mechanically
affected zone (MAZ) of the rubbing pair. The accumulation of thermal energy within the MAZ tends to maximize the potential energy
at the interface. Now, since a maximized potential energy renders the sliding system unstable, one (or both) materials will respond in a
manner that consumes (dissipates) part or all of the accumulated energy in order to re-establish system stability or at least equilibrium. The
material response may be in many forms: oxidation, crack initiation, wear debris generation, transition in wear mechanism, etc. As such,
one may consider that these processes are intrinsic responses by the material to dissipate energy. Moreover, many of these responses are
triggered at different stages of rubbing according to the balance between the rate of external thermal energy release (which is a factor of
the nominal operation parameters) and the rate of thermal energy accumulation—RTEA (which is mainly a function of thermal transport
properties of the rubbing pair). An interesting feature of this view is that the later quantity—RTEA—is directly related to the ability of the
particular solid to dissipate thermal loads. This quantity, which is termed here as the heat dissipation capacity (HDC), is directly related
to the state of blockage of energy dissipation paths within the rubbing solid. The objective of this paper is therefore to study the relation
between the change in the HDC of a sliding solid and the transition in the mechanism of wear. It is shown that there exists an inverse
correlation between the change in the HDC and the transition in the mechanism of wear. Moreover, it is also shown that a so-called ratio
of residual heat (RRH, representing the ratio between the actual thermal load and the part of that load that is not dissipated by the solid)
is a significant parameter that influences the magnitude and mechanism of wear. The findings are applied to explain the wear behavior of
two tribo systems: a titanium (Ti–6Al–4V) sliding on itself and sliding on a steel (AISI M2) counterpart.
© 2003 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
Keywords: Wear transition; Oxidational wear; Wear of titanium

1. Introduction as residual heat (RH) will be transformed into thermal

When two complying materials rub against each other, a There are several processes that take place during sliding.
tangential force representing the frictional traction will be In order for one process to take place, a particular amount
experienced at the interface. This force will perform work of work needs to be supplied. This work is provided by the
on each of the rubbing surfaces. A portion of that work work of the friction tractions. In general, each process has
will be consumed in: plastically deforming a sub-contact its own distinct energy requirement. Also, each process ex-
layer termed here as the mechanically affected zone (MAZ) pends a particular amount of energy. This situation is sum-
in both rubbing materials and; initiating some secondary marized in Fig. 1, where a quantitative comparison between
processes (e.g. acoustic and luminescence emission, plasma the energy requirements of the process taking place in slid-
emission). The major portion of that work, however, termed ing is presented. It is seen that most of the work of friction
force is transferred into thermal energy. This does not mean
that the various associative processes are of less importance
Abbreviations: CL, center line; HDC, heat dissipation capacity; LE, to a friction process.
leading edge; MAZ, mechanically affected zone; NCI, nominal contact The availability of that energy at the interface, as well
interface; RRH, ratio of residual heat; TE, trailing edge; TFA, thermal
flux accumulation
as, within the MAZ violates the thermodynamic stability of
∗ Tel.: +1-704-563-2658. the sliding pair (at least instantaneously). So that, if this
E-mail address: (H.A. Abdel-Aal). newly available energy is not consumed by some mechanism

0043-1648/03/$ – see front matter © 2003 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 885

(intrinsic or otherwise) one can envision that the MAZ of

Nomenclature both materials will undergo some damage. That is, release
B thermal effusivity (W m2 /K S1/2 ) of the thermal energy will maximize the potential energy
Cv specific heat at constant volume (kJ/(kg K)) of the interface as well as that of the MAZ. Since a maxi-
Ck specific heat measuring isothermal volumetric mized potential energy of a system is inherently an unstable
change (W/(m K)) state, one can postulate that particular surface activities will
Cp specific heat at constant pressure (J/m3 K) be triggered to dissipate the excess energy, and re-establish
D thermal diffusivity (M2 /S) thermal stability where relative motion between the sliding
e strain (m/m) surfaces is maintained at a minimal energy expenditure. In
ė strain rate (S−1 ) this sense, one can envision that particular responses are
E modulus of elasticity (GPa) triggered at particular progressive stages of sliding in accor-
h specific enthalpy dance to the rate and level of energy accumulation within the
contacting layers of the rubbing pair. One of such responses
ḣ rate of change of enthalpy
is the formation of protective oxide layers.
H hardness expressed as pressure (GPa)
The ability of a sliding metal to form an enduring pro-
K thermal conductivity (W/(m K))
tective oxide layer is influential to the resistance of wear at
K∗ apparent (effective) thermal conductivity
high temperatures [1–3]. The formation of an effective pro-
(W/(m K))
tective layer is a multifaceted process, in which the ability of
Kb bulk modulus (GPa)
the rubbing metal to diffuse (dissipate) thermal loads is cru-
Km mechanical dilatation contribution to
cial [4–7]. Indeed, it was found [8] that the degradation of
thermal conductivity (W/(m K))
that ability during rubbing leads to the accumulation of ther-
Kε coefficient of thermal expansion
mal energy within the contacting layers. Such accumulation
(m/(m K))
makes available the energy required to surpass the energy
Kσ coefficient of thermal expansion in
barriers necessary to form a protective (glaze) oxide layer.
stress (J/m3 K)
To understand the mechanism by which this energy is
Pe Peclet number
supplied or acquired by the reactive gases, it is essential
Qa actual amount of heat conducted through a
to study the origins of thermal flux accumulation (TFA)
contact spot (W/m2 )
within the MAZ of the sliding solid. This understanding,
Qgen heat generated due to friction (W/m2 )
however, hinges on envisioning the thermal scenarios taking
T temperature (K)
place within the MAZ within a non-orthodox prospective.
Tmax maximum temperature attained in a single
In particular, it is necessary to view TFA as a protective
contact cycle (K)
response that is intrinsic to the sliding solid. This response
Ṫ rate of temperature rise of the surface
aims at re-establishing a state of thermal equilibrium after
that state has been violated due to the work performed by
Uslid sliding speed (m/S)
the friction force on both solids.
V volume (m3 )
The objective of this paper is to provide an alternative
view of the oxidation–wear transition process. This view is
Greek symbols
based on the consideration that oxidation, transition in wear
β temperature coefficient of conductivity
regimes and, probably, wear particle generation itself are
(K−1 ) forms of intrinsic responses on part of the particular sliding
γ Poisson’s ratio material. Such responses are triggered by the presence of
δ temperature coefficient of diffusivity residual energy introduced to the sliding surfaces by way of
(K−1 ) the work of the frictional forces. The goal of such responses
η thermo-mechanical coupling factor is to dissipate (consume) this excessive energy, thus lower-
µ coefficient of friction ing the potential energy of the surfaces to an instantaneous
Φ heat partition factor minimum that re-establishes thermodynamic equilibrium be-
tween the sliding surfaces. As will be shown this view links
Subscripts the external influences on sliding (nominal load, speed, etc.)
max maximum to the intrinsic properties of the particular solid in sliding.
xx in the plane of sliding
zz normal to the plane of sliding
2. Aspects of thermal transport in sliding
m moving solid It can be postulated that any sliding solid has a so-called
s stationary solid heat dissipation capacity (HDC). This quantity determines
the portion of the externally applied thermal load that the
886 H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

Fig. 1. Qualitative comparison between the energy requirements of the process taking place in sliding. The work of the friction force initiates many
processes at the atomic level. These, in turn, dissipate into heat. The amount of heat resulting is around 80–90% of the work of the friction force.

particular solid can dissipate under a given set of sliding pa- (conduction) through both contacting surfaces (the moving
rameters (mechanical load and sliding speed, etc.). The term and the stationary). That is when,
dissipation is used here to merely indicate the transport of
Qgen ≤ Qm
a + Qa
thermal energy from the interface to the bulk of the rub-
bing solid. Fundamental to this postulate is the distinction where the superscripts m and s denote the moving and the
between two heat quantities: the amount of heat generated stationary solids, respectively.
at the surface due to friction (Qgen ) and the amount of heat In an ideal situation, thermal flux accumulation cannot
that is actually transported through the contact spot between take place as the rate of heat production due to friction is at
the sliding solids (Qa , say). The quantity Qgen is a function least equal to the total rate of heat removal (through) con-
of the mechanical properties of the sliding pair, their relative duction by both surfaces. That is, the sliding system is in
speed and, surface finish. It represents the actual external thermal equilibrium (stability) at least instantaneously. The
thermal loading of the sliding pair. The second quantity, Qa , ideal situation is not necessarily a dominant one. In most
is intrinsic and represents the loading limit of the particu- cases, the total rate of heat removal will not remain con-
lar rubbing material. That is, the maximum thermal load a stant throughout the duration of sliding (especially during
rubbing material can dissipate. This quantity is limited by the run-in period). The rate of heat removal may be affected
the HDC which may be higher than or less than the actual by many factors, mainly the dependence of the thermal trans-
applied thermal load. If the HDC is greater than Qgen then port properties on both temperature [9] and pressure [10].
thermal accumulation will not take place. However, when The rate of heat production, as well, will not remain constant.
Qgen is greater than the HDC, thermal accumulation takes This is due to the dependence of the mechanical properties
place and the immediate surfaces would be subject to ther- on temperature. This condition is particularly pronounced in
mal instability effects. the run-in period where the sliding system is in an unstable
The distinction between the two quantities, Qgen and Qa , condition. This state (stability–instability fluctuation) being
raises an interesting question regarding the residual portion transient in nature, emphasizes the role of the ratio of the
of the friction force work (RH). In particular, what are the rate of heat generation at the surface to the rate by which
origins of that RH, and by what mechanism does this heat the surface temperature is elevated. At any rate, however,
accumulate within the MAZ? in most cases the rate of heat generation at the surface will
Fig. 2 illustrates the mechanistic steps by which the RH overtake the total rate of heat removal by both mating sur-
may accumulate within the MAZ. Fig. 2a depicts the ideal faces (Fig. 2b), so that,
situation, where the rate of heat generation at the surface  
Qgen is less than or equal to the total rate of heat dissipation Qgen > qam + qas (2)
H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 887

dissipate through the mating surface. That is, the residual

heat will tend to effuse out of one surface toward the mating
surface. This effusion process (Fig. 2c) will continue as long
as Qgen > Qa . The end effect, however, will be the exis-
tence of a super saturated, super heated thermal layer within
the contacting layers of both mating solids. That is, the ef-
fusion process will lead to the creation of a layer dominated
by TFA (i.e. accumulated thermal energy).
To consume the newly introduced thermal energy, oxi-
dation may take place thus forming protective layers. For
an oxidative reaction to be sustained, however, a minimum
level of thermal flux intensity has to be established at least
during the initial stages of the reaction. Such thermal inten-
sity condition may be formulated in terms of the duration of
thermal energy injection through the surface, compared to
the time needed by the material to redistribute this injected
energy. That is, if the rate of energy injection through the
surface is greater than the rate at which the material redis-
tributes this energy, a sufficient intensity level, in essence,
may take place and vice versa.
The rate of energy injection to the surface is represented
by the thermal conductivity of the material. Whereas, the
rate of redistribution of the injected energy is represented
by the diffusivity. As such, sustainment of a sufficient level
of intensity will depend mainly on the balance, or the ratio,
between the thermal conductivity and the thermal diffusiv-
ity at all operation temperatures. This ratio is represented
by the so-called thermal effusivity B. The effusivity is a de-
rived quantity that controls the penetration of heat within a
given material given by B = KD−1/2 , where K is the con-
ductivity and D the diffusivity (alternatively this quantity is
termed as the coefficient of heat penetration). Therefore, in
order to maintain the critical intensity level, the diffusion
of heat in the direction of sliding has to be considerably
minimal compared to the conduction of heat normal to the
direction of sliding; and that lateral conduction should also
be smaller compared to normal conduction. This argument,
in essence, simplifies to the necessity of a directional effect
(or an anisotropic thermal behavior) of all metals in sliding
contact regardless of their nominal thermal properties.

Fig. 2. Mechanistic steps through which the residual heat (RH) may
2.1. Limitation of conventional thermal view
accumulate within the mechanically affected zone (MAZ). (a) Rate of heat
generation at the surface (Qgen ) is less than or equal to the total rate of heat A central problem concerning the foregoing postulate
dissipation (conduction) through both rubbing surfaces. (b) Initiation of the is that thermal anisotropy is not reflected in conventional
effusion–accumulation process rate of heat generation at the surface (Qgen )
thermo-tribological analysis. This is due to the linear na-
is greater than the total rate of heat dissipation (conduction) through both
rubbing surfaces. (c) Continuation of the effusion–accumulation process: ture of the heat conduction theory adopted early on in
the effused heat seeks the path of least resistance. tribo-analysis. This theory, which was formed by the pow-
erful ideas of Rosenthal [11], Jaeger [12], Blok [13], Holm
Now the difference between the two sides of Eq. (2) would [14] and Archard [15] among others, rests on a fundamental
yield the RH. That is, premise that uncouples the thermal and mechanical states
    of the rubbing material. This is mainly due to the dominant
Qgen − qam + qas = qRH = QRH (3) influence that the theory of moving heat sources (originally
introduced by Rosenthal [11]) have had on the thermal
Now, since the MAZ of each surface would be instanta- analysis in friction. This theory was originally developed
neously blocked (congested), the residual heat will try to for welding, where the solid is allowed to expand freely
888 H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

upon heating. The same theory (without adjustment to the For a deformable body, the specific enthalpy is a function of
nature of sliding surfaces) was adopted to analyze frictional both temperature and “volume increase” of the body. That
heat problems. This lead to a situation where the effect of is,
mechanical dilatation on thermal conduction in sliding was
h = h(T, e) (7)
often disregarded. Thus, within the realm of conventional
theory, thermal conduction is at most influenced by temper- where
ature rise and not by a combination of temperature elevation
and mechanical effects. The nature of sliding, however, sug- e = e(11) + e(22) + e(33) ∼
gests that coupling both thermal and mechanical influences V
on conduction is more representative of the physical picture. Note that e(11) , e(22) , and e(33) are the so-called “Lagrangian
Due to the topography of surfaces, free expansion of the Principal Strain” values given by the roots of the equation,
contact spots does not take place. Instead, upon attempting
to expand, the hot spots will be resisted by neighboring rel- e3 − IL e2 + IIL e − IIIL = 0
atively cold regions that will tend to restrict the expansion.
So, the work done by the solid in attempt to expand will be
also released as thermal energy. This situation is generally IL = eii , IIL = 21 (eii ejj − eij eij ), IIIL = |eij |
represented by the so-called generalized heat equation [16]
(originally driven by Jeffrey [17]). This equation incorpo- The time rate of change of the specific enthalpy is thus
rates the effect of mechanical loading on thermal conduction written as,
through the inclusion of mathematical terms that represent    
∂h ∂h
the work done on the solid to prevent free expansion. This ρḣ = ρ Ṫ + ρ ė (8)
∂T e ∂e T
is achieved by incorporating the effect of mechanical dilata-
tion on energy transport. Naturally, this equation is highly The first term ρ(∂h/∂T)e is recognized as the volumetric
non-linear and presents mathematical difficulties upon at- specific heat, Cp , under constant pressure. The second term
tempting an analytical solution. However, despite such math- (∂h/∂e)T ≡Ck can be defined as another type of “specific
ematical hindrance, the consideration of the coupled state heat” that measures the “isothermal” change in volume per
reveals several aspects of the thermal kinetics in sliding, that unit volume of the continuum body. Since the volume change
are otherwise not reflected within conventional linear the- in a continuum body is a result of mechanical straining, the
ory. In particular, within a non-linear frame a so-called “ap- heat capacity Ck serves as a bridge to thermo-mechanical
parent thermal conductivity” [18] is defined. This parameter deformation. The specific heat Ck is, in general, a function
reflects the strong dependence of thermal conduction on the of temperature. Expanding Ck in a Taylor series with respect
strain rate and the speed of sliding. This dependence, as will to the temperature gives,
be shown, may indeed cause anisotropic thermal behavior,    
∂h ∂Ck
even for nominally isotropic solids. Such an anisotropy may, ρ ≡ Ck (T) ∼ = Ck (T0 ) + (T − T0 ) + · · ·
under suitable loading and sliding conditions, dominate the ∂e T ∂T T0
heat transfer process and affect wear particle generation and (9)
The heat capacity Ck at the reference temperature, Ck (T0 )
can be assumed zero [20], implying that the value of Ck is
3. Heat conduction in a strained solid measured with regard to its value at the reference tempera-
ture (or is a function of the temperature rise). As such, the
The flux transport in an elastic medium may be expressed temperature dependence of Ck (T) may be expressed in terms
in the form [19], of a “temperature rise” above the reference temperature, that
ρḣ dV = q̄ · n̄ ds (4)    
∂h ∼ ∂Ck
ρ = T (10)
where q̄ is the heat flux vector flowing into the elastic ∂e T ∂T T0
medium. Note that the energy production rate within the Substituting from Eq. (10) in Eq. (8), the time rate change
body (source term) has been neglected in Eq. (4). The sur- of the specific enthalpy per unit volume is obtained as:
face integral (right-hand side of Eq. (4) is related to the vol-  
ume integral by, ∂Ck
  ρḣ = Cp Ṫ + T ė (11)
∂T 0
q̄ · n̄ ds = ∇ · q̄ dV (5)
s V where
Substituting Eq. (5) in Eq. (4) yields:    
∂Ck ∂Ck
ρ ≡
−∇ · q̄ = ρḣ (6) ∂T 0 ∂T T0
H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 889

Substituting from Eq. (11) in Eq. (6), we may write Heat transport can be related to microscopic behavior.
  In a semi-classical picture of the insulator, input of heat
−∇q = Cp Ṫ + Kσ (T)T ė, Kσ ≡ (12) excites vibrations of the nearby atoms. Because atoms are
∂T 0
connected by chemical bonds, the vibrational energy is dis-
The quantity, Kσ , retrieves the coefficient of thermal expan- sipated through excitation of vibrations of adjacent atoms.
sion in stress defined in linear thermo-elasticity. This is re- Realistic modeling of thermal conduction accounts for quan-
lated to the coefficient of linear thermal expansion (which tization of these lattice vibrations, called phonons. Heat is
measures the change in strain per degree rise in temperature) thus transferred through phonons colliding with each other
by, and possibly with defects or grain boundaries. Because rais-
ing pressure (or lowering temperature) raises vibrational
Kσ = 3Kb α, 3Kb = 3λ + 2µ = frequencies and densification increases the chances of col-
1 − 2V lision, the conductivity (K) increases as the pressure P in-
Note that Eq. (12) reflects the dependence of Kσ on the creases (or as the temperature T decreases). In addition to
temperature rise and involves a non-linear coupling between transport by conduction, a hot material produces black body
the thermal and the mechanical fields. radiation which travels as an electromagnetic wave. Both ra-
diation and phonon collision take place simultaneously. So,
3.1. Thermo-mechanical coupling the total conductivity at any temperature is the sum of two
contributions: the lattice contribution Klatt and the radiation
Eq. (12) may be rewritten as: contribution Krad .
  It is immaterial whether thermal conduction involves elec-
Kσ T ė tronic or vibrational excitations, both can be described as
−∇ · q̄ = Cp Ṫ 1 +
Cp Ṫ damped harmonic oscillators that are, in general, affected
    by pressure and temperature [21–23]. The variations in the
3Kb TK2ε ė
= Cv Ṫ 1 + (13) conductivity with pressure and temperature do influence the
Cp Kε Ṫ temperature rise in a sliding system and thereby influence
Eq. (13) may be rearranged in the form: the mechanism of wear (or the material resistance to wear).
   While this is the complete physical picture, the mathemati-

−∇ · q̄ = Cv Ṫ 1 + η (14) cal description is not as comprehensive. This is, mainly, due
Kε Ṫ to the high order of non-linearity that would be introduced
where η is a non-dimensional quantity representing the in the mathematical equations when a complete description
thermo-mechanical coupling factor given by is attempted. Moreover, characterization of the conductiv-
ity of materials under a combination of high pressures and
3Kb Kε2 T temperatures is plagued with experimental difficulties that
Cp render few reliable data available. In this article, only the
dependence of the thermal conduction on temperature will
The ratio ė/(Kε Ṫ ), also non-dimensional, measures the me- be considered.
chanical strain rate ė relative to the thermal strain rate Kε Ṫ .
Note that the thermo-mechanical coupling factor is com- 3.2.1. Modeling of the thermal conductivity
posed essentially of material properties. As such, in a sliding In general, the variation in the thermal conductivity for
situation, η will depend on the material. On the other hand, most engineering materials with temperature falls into three
the ratio ė/(Kε Ṫ ) depends mainly on the sliding conditions basic categories. These are summarized in Table 1. Math-
(nominal loading and sliding speed). So that, the last term ematically, the variation of the thermal conductivity with
in Eq. (14), η(ė/(Kε Ṫ )), may be taken to represent the in-
teraction between the material properties and operation con- Table 1
ditions. Alternatively, this same quantity may be taken to Classification of materials according to the variation in the conductivity
indicate the response of a particular rubbing pair to external with temperature
operational conditions. Material Conductivity behavior with temperature
3.2. Thermal conduction in sliding solids Class a Conductivity drops with temperature elevation (e.g.
carbon steels, sapphire, and zirconium)
If different portions of a mass of matter are at different Class b Conductivity increases with temperature elevation (e.g.
stainless steels, duralumin, and cast iron)
temperatures, thermal energy is transported from the higher
Class c The temperature–conductivity curve includes an inflation
temperature region to the lower temperature region. The point. That is, the conductivity of the material increases
thermal conductivity is the property of a material which pro- (or drops) with temperature, reaches a maximum (or a
vides a quantitative measure of the rate at which thermal minimum), then drops (or increases); (e.g. titanium, zinc
energy is transported along the thermal gradient. and vanadium)
890 H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

temperature may be represented in several forms (i.e. ex- 3.3. Apparent thermal conductivity
ponential, linear, biharmonic, etc.). The choice of a partic-
ular mathematical form depends, mainly, on the allowable Introducing the Fourier law of heat conduction
error margin introduced when fitting experimental measure-
ments. To obtain a closed form solution of the heat equation, q̄ = K∇T
however, it is necessary to adopt a form that would allow in Eq. (14) results in,
the application of the currently available mathematical lin-
earization tools. In particular, it is necessary to adopt a linear K∗ ∇ 2 T = Cv Ṫ (18)
representation of the thermal conductivity–temperature rela-
tionship. This is because a linear form directly lends itself to
Cp ηė
efficient application of a straightforward quasi linearization K∗ = K(T) − (19)
technique known as the “Kirchoff transformation” [24]. The Kε (∇ 2 T)
choice of a linear form of variation in the conductivity is not is the apparent thermal conductivity. The apparent thermal
an ad hoc approach. In fact, a linear relation between the conductivity is the true conductivity of the medium under the
conductivity and the temperature has physical origins that particular state of loading. Eq. (19) indicates that K∗ is a su-
stem from conventional models of the electronic behavior perposition of two components: the temperature rise-induced
of metals. effect, K(T), and the dilatational effect which is represented
In seeking an analytical expression that reflects the depen- by the coupling factor η. This later component, however,
dence of the conductivity on temperature it is to be remem- mainly varies in proportion to the strain rate ė.
bered that the thermal conductivity is of electronic origins. Upon rearranging Eq. (19) in the form of Eq. (17) aided
Within conventional considerations, the thermal conductiv- with the definition of the thermo-mechanical factor η, the
ity can be divided into two components. The first is due to apparent thermal conductivity is written as:
the crystal itself and is independent of any free electrons or 

∗ Km
electron holes. Whereas, the second is a result of the mo- K = K0 1 + β − T (20)
tion of the electrons. In the case of good conductors (such K0
as most metals), the second component is of more impor- where
tance than lattice conduction. It is to be noted that within
3ėKb Kε
this model, the radiation contribution to conductivity is to- Km =
tally neglected. This is justified within the limits of most ∇ 2T
engineering applications that involve metals. The analysis, Eq. (20) represents a working formula that allows the es-
however, is not quite accurate when ceramics are involved timation of the effective thermal conductivity for a given
[25]. At any rate, for many practical applications, neglecting set of sliding conditions (provided that the strain rates are
the lattice contribution is sufficient. So, the thermal conduc- predetermined, experimentally or otherwise). The term ∇ 2 T
tivity due to heat current carried by the electrons in a metal may also be estimated, as a first approximation, from the un-
may be written as: coupled heat conduction equation and through an iterative
procedure the actual conductivity may be calculated.
π2 B2 nf
K= Lθ (15) The main implication of Eq. (20), however, is that thermal
3Jmv conduction in rubbing depends on the direction and mag-
Now, the mean free path of the electrons, L, may be consid- nitude of the strain rate. That is, whether the rubbing ma-
ered (as a first approximation) independent of the tempera- terial is strained in tension or in compression will have an
ture. Whence, the variation in the conductivity with temper- effect on the local effective conductivity of the sliding ma-
ature may be expressed as: terial. It follows that if the material is undergoing tensile
 K  θ strain (positive strain rate) the local effective conductivity is
dK = M dθ (16) reduced, whereas if the material is undergoing compressive
K0 θ0 strains (negative strain rate) the local conductivity will be
augmented. Now, since the different layers of a rubbing solid
where M is a constant representing the temperature indepen- are strained in different rates, the different contacting layers
dent values in Eq. (15). Integrating Eq. (16), we may express will conduct heat according to the local magnitude and di-
the thermal conductivity at any temperature as: rection of the strain rate. Moreover, since a sliding contact
K(θ) = K0 (1 + βθ) (17) spot undergoes different strain modes and rates (the lead-
ing edge (LE) of the sliding contact will experience com-
where K(θ) is the conductivity of the material at the partic- pressive strains, while the trailing edge (TE) will experience
ular temperature θ, and β is a constant that represents the tensile strains [26]) combined with the compressive strain
so-called temperature coefficient of conductivity. The term rates normal to the direction of sliding, a directional effect
K0 in Eq. (17) represents the thermal conductivity at a ref- with respect to the local thermal conductivities will take
erence temperature that is not necessarily equal to zero. place. Thus, regardless of the nominal thermal properties
H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 891

of the sliding solid an anisotropic heat conduction behav-

ior will be exhibited by any material element located within
the MAZ. The magnitude of that anisotropy will depend on
the local strain rates and their respective orientation with
respect to the plane of sliding. In all, depending on the ma-
terial and the sliding parameters (nominal load and speed) a
solid that is nominally thermally isotropic may very well ex-
hibit anisotropic thermal conduction, and thereby anisotropic
thermal effusion. The local intensity of thermal accumula-
tion will follow that anisotropy (note that the effusivity is the
square root of the product of the thermal conductivity and
the heat capacity). Now, since the density of the oxide and
the oxidation rate follow the local intensity of thermal accu-
mulation, different parts of the slider will attain the critical
thickness necessary for wear protection at different times.
This will cause the slider to exhibit different wear rates at
Fig. 3. Temperature rise along the width of the nominal contact surface for
different locations. That is, in general, the leading edge will
the AISI 1020–AISI 1018 rubbing pair studied by Seif. T1 is the constant
tend to build up the oxide layer slower than the trailing edge. conductivity temperature, T2 represents the temperatures corrected for
Whence, wear is expected to be higher at the leading edge the variation in the conductivity with temperature only, and T3 depicts
and relatively lower at the trailing edge. The details of this ef- the temperatures corrected for both temperature variation and mechanical
fect, however, are considered beyond the scope of this paper. dilatation effects.

4. Results and discussion Fig. 3 depicts the distribution of the temperature rise along
the width of the nominal contact surface. The temperatures
4.1. Behavior of the thermal conductivity in sliding plotted in the figure are corrected for non-linear effects (i.e.
for the variation of the thermal conductivity with temperature
To illustrate the behavior of the thermal conductivity in (T2) and the thermo-mechanical coupling effect) (T3) by
sliding, Eq. (20) was applied to the experimental measure- means of the Kirchoff transformation [23].
ments of Seif and coworkers [27–31]. Table 2 provides a Fig. 4 depicts the distribution of the total strain rates along
summary for the experimental conditions and main proper- the same points for which the surface temperatures were
ties used in the work of these authors. evaluated. Fig. 4a is a plot of the strain rates in the plane
Strain rates at different points of the nominal contact sur- of sliding ėxx , whereas Fig. 4b is a plot of the strain rates
face, both in the plane of sliding and the normal plane, were in the normal plane ėzz . It is noted that the leading edge
reconstructed from the point-wise velocity vectors obtained of the slider experiences high strain rates compared to the
originally by Seif et al. [27]. The temperature rise at each trailing edge. Moreover, the strain rate in the sliding plane
of these points, published elsewhere [32–34], are shown in changes from being compressive at the leading quadrant to
Fig. 3. These were used to calculate the contribution of the being tensile at the trailing half of the specimen. The strain
thermal perturbation to the thermal conductivity of the AISI rate in the normal plane (Fig. 4b) also displays some unique
1018 specimen at the respective points (i.e. the term K0 βT). features. Note the difference between the strain rate at the
The temperature coefficient of conductivity, β, meanwhile leading edge and those at the trailing edge. Note also the
was obtained by linear regression of the conductivity data steep gradients of the strain rate experienced by the leading
extracted from the work of Touloukian et al. [35]. quadrant of the specimen.
Strain rates from Fig. 4a and b, along with an estimate of
the term ∇ 2 T (obtained from linear theory) were substituted
Table 2 in Eq. (20) to compute an initial estimate of the point-wise
Summary of the conditions of sliding for the work of Seif et al. [27–31] values of the thermal conductivity in the plane of sliding
Tribo system Stationary rectangular pin-rotating and the normal plane. These initial values were subsequently
circular disk used to refine the estimate of ∇ 2 T. The refined value, in
Material turn was re-substituted in Eq. (20) to obtain a corrected
Pin Steel AISI 1020 value of the conductivity. Computations were carried out
Disk Steel AISI 1018 until two successive values of the conductivity for the same
Sliding speed (m/s) 0.45 point fall within a predetermined accuracy. The results of
Nominal load (N) 80 that procedure are provided as Fig. 4c, which depicts the
Nominal contact stress (MPa) 13.333
point-wise distribution of the thermal conductivity along the
Nominal contact area (m2 ) 6 × 10−6
nominal contact interface (NCI) of the steel specimen.
892 H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

by the equation:

K(T) = K0 (1 + βT)

where the temperature T is extracted from the curve labeled

T3 in Fig. 3.
An interesting feature of the figure is that the effective
conductivities Kxx∗ and K ∗ are considerably lower than the
temperature based conductivity K(T) (on average the differ-
ence amounts to ≈20%). It is to be noted also that the ef-
fective thermal conductivity of the specimen in the normal
plane Kzz∗ does not vary significantly from K(T) (average

variation of Kzz∗ /K(T) ≈ 0.2). This indicates that for this

particular loading condition, the mechanical effects tend to

slightly counteract the temperature-induced degradation of
the conductivity.
Thermal conductivity in the plane of sliding (lateral ther-
mal conductivity), Kxx∗ , exhibits an interesting trend. At the

leading quadrant, the conductivity in the plane of sliding is

considerably higher than that in the normal plane. Whereas,
throughout the trailing half of the specimen, the thermal con-
ductivity in the normal direction is considerably higher than
that in the plane of sliding. This trend, while in general is
consistent with the temperature distribution given in Fig. 3,
lends a new interpretation to the kinetics of heat within the
Conventional analysis explains the trend of the temper-
ature distribution (Fig. 3) in terms of the theory of Jaeger
[12]. That is, due to the motion of the specimen convective
heat fluxes will take place and heat will tend to diffuse to-
ward the trailing half of the specimen. Fig. 4c, however, of-
fers a complementary explanation: due to the difference in
the effective conductivities, the leading quadrant will have
an HDC that is higher in the plane of sliding than that in
the normal plane. Thus, at the leading quadrant, resistance
to thermal flow will be higher in the direction normal to the
plane of sliding. Since heat is primarily conducted through
the path of the least thermal resistance, the heat generated
within the first quadrant will tend to flow laterally paral-
lel to the plane of sliding. Such a tendency will continue,
point-wise, until the values of the effective conductivity in
both directions are locally equal. The location of the point
Fig. 4. Distribution of the total strain rates along the width of the nominal of equal conductivity will depend on the distribution of the
contact surface of the steel rubbing pair shown in Fig. 1. (a) Strain rates in strain rate and its local magnitude in addition to the local
the plane of sliding (ėxx ). (b) Strain rates in the plane normal to the plane temperature rise. Starting at the point of equal conductivi-
of sliding (ėzz ). (c) Point-wise distribution of the thermal conductivity
ties (approximately at X/W = 0.5 in Fig. 3) heat will again
along the nominal contact interface, K(T) represent the values of the
conductivity as a function of the temperature rise only. follow the passage of the least resistance. Only, this pas-
sage will likely be normal to the plane of sliding due to
the effect of the strong temperature gradient. Now, due to
To establish a qualitative comparison between the thermal the differences in the effective conductivities, a correspond-
and the mechanical effects on the conductivity, for this par- ing difference in the thermal effusivities of the leading and
ticular specimen, a third curve was computed. This curve, trailing portions of the specimen will take place. This will
which is labeled K(T), represents the values of the con- lead to the tendency of the portions of the highest effusivity,
ductivity as a function of the temperature rise only. These trailing portions of the specimen, to retain heat in the nor-
were computed by neglecting the strain rate contribution in mal direction and allow thermal flow in the lateral direction
Eq. (20). That is, by assuming that the conductivity is give (also toward the trailing half of the slider).
H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 893

Laterally, however, the situation is reversed. That is, the is instantaneously available for fueling oxidative reactions
lateral effusivity in the leading half is higher than that at the or secondary processes within the MAZ of the material.
trailing half. As such, the leading portions of the slider will
tend to accumulate heat parallel to the sliding plane. This 4.2. Correlation to wear regime transition
heat will tend to gravitate toward the trailing half where the
lateral resistance is lower. This will cause the bulk of the To examine the lateral heat flow postulate, wear data of
thermal load to shift toward the trailing half of the slider. a titanium (Ti–6Al–4V)–tool steel (AISI M2) rubbing pair
As a consequence the temperature at the trailing half will, were analyzed. The data were acquired by Straffelini and
in general, be higher than those at the leading half. The dif- Molinari [36], who carried wear experiments at a range
ference in the effusivity will increase relative to the strain of speeds (0.3–0.8 m/s) and loads (50, 100, and 200 N).
rate (which may be assumed to vary with the speed of slid- Tables 3–5 summarize the experimental conditions of Straf-
ing). Thus, at higher speeds the difference will increase and felini and Molinari and the thermo-physical properties of the
the shift in thermal loading will be more significant. Conse- rubbing pair, respectively. Fig. 5 depicts the variation in the
quently, the point of maximum temperature will shift toward thermal properties of a stress free sample of the materials
the trailing edge. used in the test.
High effusivity indicates a resistance to an abrupt change The experiments identified two wear mechanisms that
in the thermal state [4]. This resistance is exhibited as lo- took place irrespective of the counterface and applied load:
cal retention of heat within the layers of the MAZ due to oxidative wear at the lowest sliding velocities (0.3–0.5 m/s)
high resistance to heat penetration. This situation may lead and delamination wear at the highest (0.6–0.8 m/s). This be-
to two different scenarios, each of which depends on the havior was attributed to the different, bulk, temperatures that
amount of gain or drop in the directional effective conduc- were reached on the contacting surfaces during sliding thus
tivity. The first scenario will take place if the mechanical highlighting the importance of thermal softening effects. The
effects are not as severe. Due to the local difference in the authors reasoned that as the temperatures increased (due to
effusivity, heat will accumulate mainly at the trailing half an increase in load or decrease in the thermal conductivity
of the specimen. This accumulation will provide more en- of the counterface), the plastic strain rate at the contacting
ergy, to be acquired by the reactive gases, at the trailing asperities also increased, thus leading to a corresponding in-
half than the leading half of the specimen. Now, with in- crease in the wear rate. They also predicted that the mecha-
crease in the nominal load and the speed, the generated nism responsible for the increase in the plastic strain rate is
heat (thermal load at the NCI) will increase. Depending on reversible dislocation motion. However, no explanation was
the difference in the HDC and that of the effusivity, the given to how would the dislocation motion acquire the ki-
HDC normal to the plane of sliding may become signifi- netic energy necessary to move, especially that the thermal
cantly constricted. This will lead to a critical situation in conductivity of the particular titanium alloy increases with
which the heat flux will be forced to flow parallel to the temperature (see Fig. 5). The increase in the conductivity
plane of sliding due to a lower lateral thermal resistance and will lead to faster heat dissipation from the counterface thus
a congested normal plane. This tendency will continue as minimizing the amount of thermal energy that can mobilize
long as the HDC in the lateral direction is not impaired. In the dislocations. An alternative view that avoids the contra-
this case, the lateral flow of heat may be viewed as an in- dictions of Straffelini and Molinari’s arguments originates
trinsic relief mechanism that is invoked by the material to from the lateral heating hypotheses.
counteract the destructive effects of thermal energy accumu- The starting point is to compute the flash, and not the bulk,
lation. temperatures reached in the sliding of Ti–M2 pair using the
While the lateral flow of heat relieves the normal plane classical solution for a moving anisotropic medium [37], i.e.
from the destructive effects of heat accumulation, it causes
lateral thermal accumulation. Depending on the lateral HDC,
lateral heat accumulation will cause a corresponding degra- Table 3
Experimental conditions for the work of Straffelini and Molinari [36]
dation in the material resistance to mechanical shear. Thus,
under a suitable combination of nominal loading and slid- Test configuration Disk-on-disk
ing speed shear stability may take place. This will lead to Materials Ti–6Al–4V stationary
the delamination of the oxide layer and mark the transition AISI M2 moving
in the wear mechanism from oxidation to delamination. The Disk dimension
postulated indication for such transition is the growth of the Diameter (mm) 40
so-called ratio of residual heat (RRH) [5,8] in association Thickness (mm) 10
with the degradation of the HDC normal to the direction of Sliding speed (m/s) 0.3–0.4
sliding. The RRH of a material represents the percentage of Nominal normal loads (N) 50, 100, 200
the applied thermal load which cannot be dissipated instan- Depth of plastic zone (␮m) 40
taneously by the material. The RRH may also be viewed as Coefficient of friction, µ 0.3–0.4
Total sliding distance before steady state (m) 1770
a qualitative measure of the amount of thermal energy that
894 H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

Table 4
Experimentally determined wear rates for the Ti–6Al–4V–AISI M2 sliding pair
Sliding speed (m/s) 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
Wear rate (mm3 /m) 0.01 0.0098 0.0086 0.0078 0.0072 0.007
Maximum temperature (◦ C) 458.55 511.17 555.35 593.78 627.96 658.87
Normal strain rate, ėzz (s−1 ) −75 −98 −107.5 −117 −126 −140
Lateral strain rate, ėxx (s−1 ) 15 20 25 30 35 40

Table 5 Φq(ρCp )1/2 dτ ρCp
Properties used in the calculation of the HDC and RRH for the titanium T= exp −
8(π3 K1 K2 )3/2 0 (t − τ)3/2 A 4(t − τ)
(Ti–6AL–4V)–tool steel (AISI M2) rubbing pair
[X1 − X̄1 − U1 (t − τ)]2 X22
Material Ti–6Al–4V AISI M2 × + dX1 dX2 (21)
K1 K2
ρ (kg/m3 ) 4420 7600
K0 (W/m K) 5.8 48.6
D0 (m2 /s × 10−6 ) 2.15 0.148 where K1 and K2 represent the effective (apparent) ther-
B0 (W/m S1/2 K × 103 ) 3.955 12.642 mal conductivities in the plane of sliding and the plane nor-
β (K−1 ) 0.0001983 −0.0006146
mal to it. Strain rates were estimated from wear data (see
δ (K−1 ) 0.001608 −0.0010258
Cp (kJ/kg K) 610 452 Appendix A), then substituted in Eq. (20) to obtain the effec-
Tmelt (K) 1933 1760 tive conductivities. The heat partition factor was estimated
Kb (GPa) 112 140 from the expression [12],
Kε (␮m/m K) 9.7 11.9
σ y (GPa) 0.970 1.517

Fig. 6. Evolution of the flash temperatures with time for a titanium

(Ti–6AL–4V)–tool steel (AISI M2) sliding pair. Nominal test load, 50 N.
(a) Evolution of temperature with time for the different speeds. (b) Max-
Fig. 5. Variation of the thermal properties of titanium with temperature. imum temperature attained for each speed.
H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 895

mal conductivity as a function of sliding speeds and load-
Φ= √
0.795 Kzz
s + Kzz
m Pe ing. These being the ratio between the lateral conductivity
(conductivity in the plane of sliding) and the normal con-
where the superscripts s and m denote the stationary and ductivity (conductivity in the plane normal to the sliding
the moving specimens, respectively, and Pe is the Peclet ∗ /K ∗ , whereas the second is the ra-
plane), i.e. the ratio Kxx zz
number. ∗ (U
tio Kxx )/K ∗ (0.3 m/s). This represents the change in
slid xx
Fig. 6a depicts the evolution of the flash temperatures as the lateral conductivity as a function of speed and is cal-
a function of the contact time at each of the speeds used culated by dividing the lateral conductivity at each sliding
by Straffelini and Molinari under a nominal load of 50 N. speed by the conductivity at 0.3 m/s, since this speed was the
Fig. 6b depicts the maximum temperatures reached at each starting sliding speed in the experiments. As such, the ra-
∗ (U
tio Kxx ∗
of the sliding speeds used to evaluate Fig. 6a. For each of the slid )/Kxx (0.3 m/s) represents the evolution of the
temperatures plotted in Fig. 3a, the effective thermal con- lateral conductivity at the different sliding speeds.
∗ ) and the normal ∗ /K ∗ for the different
ductivity in the direction of sliding (Kxx Fig. 7a is a plot of the ratio Kxx zz
∗ ∗ /K ∗ is plotted against
(Kzz ) were calculated. These values were subsequently used sliding speeds at 50 N. The value Kxx zz
to evaluate two ratios that represent the change in the ther- a non-dimensional temperature T/Tmax , where Tmax is the

Fig. 7. Variation of the conductivity components at the different sliding speeds (load = 50 N). (a) The ratio K̇xx /K̇zz for the different sliding speeds
plotted against a non-dimensional temperature T/Tmax , where Tmax is the maximum temperature reached in a loading cycle at a particular sliding speed.
(b) Variation of the ratio K̇xx (U)/K̇xx (0.3), at different sliding speeds.
896 H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

maximum temperature reached in a loading cycle at a par-

ticular sliding speed. It is noted that the lateral conductivity
increases with respect to the normal conductivity in direct
proportion at the sliding speed. That is, as the speed of slid-
ing increases the ratio Kxx ∗ /K ∗ also increases.
Fig. 7b represents the variation of the ratio Kxx ∗ (U)/K ∗
(0.3) at different sliding speeds. Again this ratio is plotted
against the non-dimensional temperature T/Tmax . Consistent
with the trend of Fig. 7a, the total conductivity increases with
increase in the speed. It is to be noted, however, that alloy
Ti–6Al–4V exhibits an increase in the thermal contribution
to the conductivity, i.e. the term (1 + βT) > 1. This indi-
cates that the thermal contribution to the lateral conductivity
overcomes the mechanical dilatation component. Moreover,
the increase in the ratio Kxx∗ /K ∗ implies the decrease of the
HDC in the normal direction. For verification, the RRH for
the Ti alloy was calculated at the different sliding speeds
(see Appendix B). The amount of heat generated was taken
to be a function of the surface temperature, i.e.
Qgen (T) = ΦµH(T)Uslid (22)
The results of the calculations are presented in Fig. 8a, where
the RRH of titanium is plotted against the non-dimensional
temperature, T/Tmax . The general trend of the curves indi-
cates that the RRH increases as the sliding speed increases.
This is due to two factors: the increase of the amount of heat
generated as the speed of sliding increases and; the degrada-
tion in the thermal conductivity due to the mechanical cou-
pling effect (strain rate effect) especially in the lateral plane
(plane of sliding). Akin to this degradation, the HDC in the
normal direction decreases as the sliding speed increases.
This applies a higher lateral thermal load which, for this par- Fig. 8. Variation of the ratio of residual heat (RRH) and heat dissipation
ticular case, cannot be dissipated instantaneously. As such, capacity (HDC) of the titanium–tool steel rubbing pair at different slid-
ing speeds. (a) RRH of titanium is plotted against the non-dimensional
congestion and thereby, lateral heat accumulation will take temperature, T/Tmax . (b) Evolution of the heat dissipation capacity in the
place. The forgoing analysis is confirmed by Fig. 8b, where normal direction (HDCzz ) with the speed of sliding.
the ratio of the normal HDC at different speeds relative to
the HDC at the initial speed, 0.3 m/s, is plotted. Interest-
ingly, it is noted that the degradation in the HDC and the fluctuation in the heat generated at the surface may be im-
increase of the RRH are more significant past 0.5 m/s which material. All things considered, however, the general trend
is the transition speed (compare the trend of each curve in of the RRH with speed will depend on non-linear influences,
Fig. 8a and b). the detailed study of which is a subject of current investiga-
The RRH depends on a group of factors (see Appendix B). tion.
For this quantity to be minimized or not at a given speed From the foregoing, it may be concluded that the tran-
depends on the corresponding change in the HDC. The in- sition in wear from oxidation to delamination is triggered,
crease in the HDC meanwhile depends on which of the in essence, by the change in the normal thermal conduc-
thermal-induced or the mechanical-induced perturbation in ∗ and the associated degradation of the total HDC.
tivity Kzz
the effective conductivity would dominate. The generated The change in the conductivity, therefore, is not to be con-
heat also has partial influence on the behavior of the RRH at sidered as a mere consequence of the thermal events at the
different speeds. In general, heat generation at the surface is NCI. Rather, the thermal events at the interface are trig-
a function of the mechanical properties. These, on the other gered by the degradation in the conductivity. In particular,
hand, are functions of the temperature. As such, the higher the change in the thermal conductivity will cause the direc-
the speed, the higher the temperature rise and thus a decline tional constriction of the HDC of the material. Depending
in the mechanical properties. This leads to less heat gener- on the degree of constriction, a shift in the relative magni-
ated at the surface. On the surface, however, strain harden- tude of the directional components of the applied thermal
ing takes place. This partially counteracts the effect of the load. The shift effect will intensify when the normal HDC
temperature on the mechanical properties. To this effect the (where the strongest temperature gradient is expected) is
H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 897

impaired. This situation will lead to a significant instanta- friction force through the energy accumulation mechanism.
neous, additional, lateral thermal load. This load represents The main catalyst for this accumulation process is the change
the residual normal heat that is in excess of the normal in the thermal conductivity and the variation in the balance
HDC of the material. Depending on the lateral thermal con- between conductive to diffusive effects within the MAZ.
ductivity and the associated lateral HDC, the newly applied
thermal load may be dissipated or may be, on the other 4.3. Thermodynamic implications
hand, tend to accumulate. When the accumulation occurs, a
relatively soft zone will form. This zone will be marked by The variation in the balance between the conductive to
a relatively low resistance to shear. The extent of material the diffusive effects also reflects on the continuity of the rel-
softening, and thereby the degree of shear resistance, will ative motion between the two surfaces. This is because in
depend on the amount of heat accumulated laterally. If the the sliding of one body over another, energy must be con-
amount of heat accumulated is less than the critical amount tinuously supplied to the sliding system or relative motion
needed to instigate delamination, the oxidative wear regime will cease. The attainment of zero relative motion can be
will be dominant else delamination will operate. Thus, in viewed as a form of an equilibrium state of the sliding sys-
view of this analysis, the change in the thermal conductiv- tem. Now, the energy supplied to maintain relative motion is
ity may be viewed as an intrinsic trigger that decides which dissipated in the sliding body system and produces entropy.
energy consumption mechanism will take place (oxidation As such, the equilibrium states, and thereby the thresholds
or delamination). It is acknowledged that other mechanical of transition in wear regimes, may be thought of as linked
occurrences are associated with oxidation or delamination. to the entropy production of the system. In particular, the
However, in order for these mechanical occurrences to take equilibrium states and transition thresholds could be thought
place a supply of kinetic energy has to be available. This of as characterized by local maximum or minimum entropy
energy is provided, indirectly, through the work done by the generation states.

Fig. 9. Behavior of the influential thermodynamic parameters with respect to each other. (a) Variation of the rate of change in heat generation at the surface
with non-dimensional surface temperature T/Tmax . (b) Variation of the rate of surface temperature rise with the non-dimensional surface temperature
T/Tmax . (c) Variation of the rate of change in heat generation at the surface with the rate of surface temperature rise. (d) Three-dimensional surface plot
that depicts the variation of all the thermodynamic parameters with respect to each other.
898 H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900

Entropy production depends on the ratio between the heat present theory is based on considering the coupling be-
added to the temperature (Q/T). The change in entropy, tween the mechanical and thermal states of a sliding solid.
meanwhile, depends on the difference between the value of The consequence of that coupling is that thermal conduc-
this ratio at two states undergone by the system. It follows tion in a sliding solid will be influenced by the coupled
that the points at which the rate of entropy production is thermo-mechanical state at the surface and within the MAZ
maximum or minimum will depend on the time derivatives (local strain rates and temperature difference).
Q̇ and Ṫ (i.e. the rates of change in heat production and rate The influence of the local strain on conduction was de-
of temperature rise at the surface and the surface temper- duced and a so-called “apparent thermal conductivity” was
ature itself). All of these quantities, however, are strongly defined. This parameter, which is sensitive to the local dis-
related to the balance between the heat generated at the sur- tribution of the strain rate, represents the actual thermal
face and the heat diffused in each of the rubbing pair. That conductivity of the solid under coupled thermo-mechanical
is, the balance between conduction and diffusion. loading. Due to the variation in the direction and magni-
To complete the analysis, two additional quantities were tude of the strain rate, thermal conduction in sliding may
calculated for the same experimental conditions of Table 2. exhibit an anisotropic behavior (even when the solid is nom-
These being, the rate of change in heat generation at the inally thermally isotropic). This behavior was shown to be
surface (Q̇) and the rate of temperature rise at the surface a key factor in the dissipation of frictionally induced ther-
(Ṫ ) where, mal loads. In particular, it was shown that the anisotropy of
∂Q ∂Q ∂T ∂T thermal conduction may cause the flow of heat to be locally
Q̇ = = × , Ṫ = congested. This causes thermal energy accumulation within
∂t ∂T ∂t ∂t
the contacting layers. This, in turn, results in making avail-
Fig. 9a-d detail the relationship between these quantities and
able the energy needed by the reactive gases to jump the
the temperature rise at the surface for each of the speeds used
barriers and form a protective layer. Thermal energy accu-
in the experimental work of Molinari. Fig. 9a and b depict
mulation was correlated to the transition in the mechanism
the relation between ∂Q̇, ∂Ṫ and the surface temperature
of wear. This was achieved by the analysis of wear data for
normalized by the maximum surface temperature rise for
a titanium–tool steel sliding pair.
a particular speed. Both figures display similar trends. In
It was postulated that the decrease in the HDC of the solid
particular, both figures contain three zones: in the early parts
causes the formation of a soft zone. This zone is marked by
of the cycle (up to T/Tmax ≈ 0.15) the gradients of ∂Q̇
relatively low shear resistance. This resistance to shear is
and ∂Ṫ are so steep. A transitional zone follows between
closely related to the behavior of the so-called HDC of the
(T/Tmax ≈ 0.2–0.4) and, finally toward the end of the cycle,
material. When the HDC decreases to a critical value the
uniform ∂Q̇ and ∂Ṫ are encountered. The same trend is
soft zone will have the lowest resistance to shear. This will
apparent in the plot that depicts the variation in ∂Q̇ with
cause the delamination of oxide flakes, thus instigating the
respect to ∂Ṫ (Fig. 9c) except that the slopes are opposite in
transition in the dominant mechanism of wear.
sign to those noted in Fig. 9a and b. It is to be noted here
that, in contrast to intuition, higher rates of change in surface
temperature do not require corresponding higher increase
Appendix A. Extraction of the strain rate from wear
in the rate of heat generation at the surface. In fact, it is
rate data
apparent from Fig. 9c that after a specific value a uniform
or quasi uniform change in the rate of heat production at the
The volumetric wear rate Ẇ is given as:
surface is sufficient to sustain higher rates of change in the
surface temperature rise. dW
An interesting trend is noted in Fig. 9d, which depicts the Ẇ = (A.1)
variation in the three parameters ∂Q̇, ∂Ṫ , and T/Tmax rela-
tive to each other. Note the local minima and maxima points in which dW is the volume loss (A dZ) per unit sliding dis-
in the surface (observe the shaded points). The local slope tance dS or:
of the surface at these points is equal to zero which implies A dZ
potential possible thermodynamic equilibrium (maximum Ẇ = (A.2)
Uslid dt
entropy generation) of maximum instability (minimum en-
tropy generation). The correlation of these points to actual where Uslid (=dS/dt) is the sliding velocity, A the initial
transitions in wear regimes for the particular tribo system is contact area and dZ the vertical displacement of plastically
of interest and remains a point of ongoing research. deformed material.
The vertical displacement of plastically deformed mate-
rial, dZ, in the deformed zone per unit time, dt, can be con-
5. Conclusions sidered equivalent to the engineering strain rate, ė, where
This work presented an alternative theory for the ther- dZ 1
ė = (A.3)
mal events that take place during the sliding of metals. The Z0 dt
H.A. Abdel-Aal / Wear 254 (2003) 884–900 899

Substituting Eq. (A.3) in Eq. (A.2), the wear rate is expressed B.3. Calculation of the ratio of residual heat (RRH)
AZ0 (a) The heat generated at the interface is calculated from:
Ẇ = ė (A.4)
Uslid Qgen (θs ) = 3µUslid σy (θs ) (B.6)
where AZ0 , the volume of the deformed zone and U, the test
where θ s is obtained from Eq. (16).
velocity are constants. As such, if the width of the deformed
(b) The RRH is calculated from:
zone is measured and Ẇ is provided, the strain rate may be  
determined. Eq. (A.4) was applied to the data of Straffelini HDCtot − ΦQgen (θs )
RRH = (B.7)
and Molinari to extract the strain rates. ΦQgen (θs )
where Φ is the heat partition factor.
Appendix B
B.1. Calculation of the HDC and RRH
for the Ti–6Al–4V alloy [1] R.B. Waterhouse, P.E. Taylor, High temperature fretting and wear of
like metallic contacts, Rev. High Temp. Mater. 4 (1980) 259–298.
[2] F.H. Stott, G.C. Wood, The influence of oxides on the friction and
1. The size of the contact spot is determined from plastic wear of alloys, Trib. Int. 10 (1978) 211–218.
[3] Y. Saito, K. Mino, Elevated temperature wear maps of X-40 and
contact theory, i.e.
Mar-247 alloys, ASME J. Trib. 117 (1995) 524–528.
1 N 1/2 [4] H.A. Abdel-Aal, The correlation between thermal property variation
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