Shaojun Qi, Xiaoying Li and Hanshan Dong
School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Graphene has shown its great potential as the thinnest solid lubricant in the literature, particularly at nano scale. For macro scale tribological applications, however, graphene-based composites could be more practical solutions. It is reported that graphene not only strengthens the polymer matrix but also reduces the friction and wear effectively. In this work nickel-graphene oxide (GO) composite coatings were fabricated by an electro-brush plating technique. The morphology and structure of the coatings were characterized and the effects of GO on the mechanical & tribological properties were investigated. Graphene oxide sheets were incorporated in the matrix successfully and caused a significant change to the micro structure of the coating. The nano-indentation tests showed that the addition of GO improved the nano-hardness and Young's modulus of the nickel coating. Moreover the composite coatings demonstrated much lower friction and wear rate, indicating the promising application of graphene and its derivatives as novel nano solid lubricant fillers.
Shaojun Qi is now a PhD student in Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham. His current project involves deposition and characterisation of graphene based coatings, for engineering applications such as anti-friction and anti-corrosion. Before his PhD programme in the UK he was a student at Northeastern University, China, where he obtained his B.S. in 2011 and Master degrees in 2013 both in Metallurgy.
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