Influence of surface roughness and contact load on friction coefficient and scratch behavior of thermoplastic olefins Academic Article uri icon


  • To study the effects of surface roughness and contact load on the friction behavior and scratch resistance of polymers, a set of model thermoplastic olefins (TPO) systems with various surface roughness (R a ) levels were prepared and evaluated. It is found that a higher R a corresponds to a lower surface friction coefficient (μ s ). At each level of R a , μ s gets larger as contact load increases, with a greater increase in μ s as R a level increases. It is also observed that with increasing contact load and increasing R a , the μ s tend to level off. In evaluating TPO scratch resistance, a lower μ s would delay the onset of ductile drawing-induced fish-scale surface deformation feature, thereby raising the load required to cause scratch visibility. However, as the contact load is further increased, the μ s evolves to become scratch coefficient of friction (SCOF) as significant sub-surface deformation and tip penetration occur and material displacement begins, i.e., ploughing. No dependence of R a and μ s on the critical load for the onset of ploughing is observed. In this work, the distinction between μ s and SCOF will be illustrated. Approaches for improving scratch resistance of polymers via control of R a are also discussed. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jiang, H., Browning, R., Fincher, J., Gasbarro, A., Jones, S., & Sue, H.

citation count

  • 84

publication date

  • May 2008