Rolling contact fatigue testing of peek based composites
University of Brescia, Department of Mechanical and Industrial
Rolling contact fatigue phenomenon was investigated on unfilled PEEK and on three different PEEK composites: 10% carbon micro-fiber, graphite and PTFE filled matrix, 30% carbon micro-fiber filled matrix, 30% glass micro-fiber filled matrix. For this aim, roller-shaped specimens were machined from extruded bars of these materials and subjected to rolling contact tests at different contact pressure levels by means of a four roller machine. Contact pressure-life diagrams and wear rates were so obtained and compared, highlighting a relationship with monotonic and hardness materials properties. Microscopic observations of contact surfaces and transversal section of the specimens also allowed observing the damage mechanisms occurred in the materials tested and the effects of the filler. In particular way, deep radial cracks appeared on unfilled PEEK, while spalling and delamination phenomena where found on composites. Diffuse microcracks were found at the filler-matrix interface of the composites specimens, confirming that the fatigue life of these materials is essentially determined by the crack propagation phase, also under rolling contact loading.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2010