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Tribology
CEI

Lightweight Materials for Automotive Products and Manufacturing Processes

 

The New Research Centre 

 
Our Tribology of Materials Research Centre is now moved to its modern facilities in the recently opened Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) in November 2012. 
 
Equipped with the large variety of state-of- the art tribological testing and characterization facilities the Tribology of Materials Research Centre, TMRC, conducts fundamental and applied research on friction, wear and lubrication of advanced engineering materials, composites and surface coatings.  
 
Research programs focus on understanding and improving the friction and wear behaviour of lightweight materials, like aluminum, magnesium and their composites and developing novel coatings to protect them against wear.  
 
The TMRC’s research programs are aimed at improving the performance of materials, manufacturing processes, and clean energy conversion systems through the application of modern surface engineering methods.  The TMRC draws its strength from the synergy arising from a complementary nature of faculty members with wide variety of expertise focusing on tribology research. The primary collaborators of TMRC include Canada based companies, universities and government research laboratories.  Users vary from collaborating scientists in automotive and aerospace sectors, aluminum manufacturers and application engineers interested in developing advanced coatings, to university researchers involved in fundamental studies in tribology.  Each year, TMRC provides training for over sixty undergraduate and postgraduate students in engineering and science programs. 

Research Highlights 

The TMRC researchers, Dr. Alpas and his team, study the physicochemical mechanisms that occur on the surface of aluminum during contact with moving dynamic hard surface, such as a piston ring or a cutting tool. The analysis of these mechanisms includes advanced material characterization techniques on samples excised from the first few hundred nanometers below the surface. The results helped to optimize the microstructure of aluminum-silicon alloys, which contributed to the development of a new generation of linerless aluminum-silicon alloy internal combustion engines.  
 
Improving automotive manufacturing processes is one of the primary focuses of the TMRC. Researchers here have devised a simple and cost-effective technology that has allowed for environmentally sustainable machining of powertrain components and other aluminum and magnesium castings. They have shown that by protecting tool surfaces with diamond-like carbon coatings, it is feasible to use only a few millilitres of metal cutting fluid, thereby vastly reducing the large amounts of coolant used in traditional flooded machining and resulting in longer cutting and forming tool life. Advancement of surface engineering based solutions to the tribological problems associated with forming of automotive materials is another goal of the research. 
 
The research program also includes understanding the microstructural aspects of graphite and Sn-C based electrode damage mechanisms that are essential to control capacity loss and enhance energy efficiency of Li-ion batteries. 'In-situ' microscopy and focussed ion-beam microscopy based TEM techniques were developed to examine the electrode/eletrolyte interfaces and the crack morphoogies. New surface treatments and composite electrodes were developed to control capacity loss and enhance energy efficiency of lithium-ion batteries
 
Overall, the research programs generate the fundamental scientific and engineering knowledge needed to produce energy efficient automotive components and manufacturing technologies as well as train the necessary highly-qualified personnel and in this way they enhance the ability of Canada to compete in the global market place with new products and services. 
 

 

 

 

Research Programs

Lightweight Materials
High Performance Machining
Surface Engineering for Energy Research

 

Recent Articles

Effect of bio-fuel (E85) addition on lubricated sliding wear mechanisms of a eutectic Al-Si alloy

A. Banerji, A. Edrisy, V. Francis, A.T. Alpas
Wear, 311, 2014, 1-13.

The Performance of Diamond-Like Carbon Coated Drills in Thermally Assisted Drilling of Ti-6Al-4V

S. Bhowmick, A.T. Alpas
Transactions of the ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, 135, 2013, 061019.

High Temperature Tribological Behaviour of W Containing Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) Coating Against Titanium Alloys

A. Banerji, S. Bhowmick, A.T. Alpas
Surface and Coatings Technology, 241, 2014, 93-104.

Thermal Cycling Induced Capacity Enhancement of Graphite Anodes in Lithium-Ion Cells

S.Bhattacharya, A.R. Riahi, A.T. Alpas
Carbon, 67, 2014, 592-606.

 

Role of Sliding-Induced Tribofilms on Fracture of Particles in Aluminum-Silicon Alloys

S. Bhattacharya, A.T. Alpas
Wear, 301, 2013, 707-716.

Sliding Wear Mechanisms of Magnesium Composites AM60 Reinforced with Al2O3 Fibres under Ultra-Mild Wear Conditions

A. Banerji, H. Hu, A.T. Alpas
Wear, 301, 2013, 626-635.

 

The Tribological Behaviour of AA5083 Alloy Plastically Deformed at Warm Forming Temperatures

O.A. Gali, A.R. Riahi, A.T. Alpas
Wear, 302 2013, 1257-1267.

Oxidation Induced Softening in Al Nanowires

F.G. Sen, Y. Qi, A.C.T. van Duin, A.T. Alpas
Applied Physics Letters, 102, 2013, 051912.

Low Friction and Environmentally Stable Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) Coatings Incorporating Silicon, Oxygen and Fluorine Sliding Against Aluminum

F.G. Sen, X. Meng-Burany, M.J. Lukitsch, Y. Qi, A.T. Alpas
Surface & Coatings Technology, 215, 2013, 340-349.

Micromechanisms of Solid Electrolyte Interphase Formation on Electrochemically Cycled Graphite Electrodes in Lithium-Ion Cells

Bhattacharya, S.; Alpas, A.T.
Carbon, 50, 2012, 5359-5371

Micromechanisms of Solid Electrolyte Interphase Formation on Electrochemically Cycled Graphite Electrodes in Lithium-ion Cells

Anchoring Platinum on Graphene using Metallic Adatoms: A First Principles Investigation

Sen, F.G., Qi, Y., Alpas, A.T.
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 24, 2012, 225003.

Tribology of Fluorinated Diamond-Like Carbon Coatings: First Principles Calculations and Sliding Experiments.

Sen, F.G., Qi, Y., Alpas, A.T.
Lubrication Science, 25, 2013, 111-121.

Ultra-Mild Wear of Al2O3 Fibre and Particle Reinforced Magnesium Matrix Composites

Banerji, A., Hu, H., Alpas, A.
Advanced Materials Research, 445, 2012, 503-508.

Ultramild Wear of AI2O3 Fibre and Particle Reinforced Magnesium Matrix Composite

High Temperature Deformation and Fracture of Tribo-Layers on the Surface of AA5083 Sheet Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy

Das, S., Riahi, A.R., Meng-Burany, X., Morales, A.T., Alpas, A.T.
Materials Science and Engineering A, 531, 2012, 76-83.

High Temperature Deformation and Fracture of Tribo-Layers on the Surface of AA5083 Sheet Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy

High Temperature Tribological Behaviour of W-DLC Against Aluminum

Abou Gharam, A., Lukitsch, M.J., Alpas, A.T.
Surface and Coatings Technology, 206, 2011, 1905-1912.

A Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of Crack Formation and Propagation in Electrochemically Cycled Graphite Electrode in Lithium-Ion Cells

Bhattacharya, S., Riahi, A.R., Alpas, A.T.
Journal of Power Sources, 196, 2011, 8719-8727.

Role of Plastic Deformation on Elevated Temperature Tribological Behavior of an Al-Mg Alloy (AA5083): A Friction Mapping Approach

Das, S., Morales, A.T., Riahi, A.R., Meng-Burany, X., Alpas, A.T.
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 42A, 2011, 2384-2401.

The Role of Diamond-like Carbon Coated Drills on Minimum Quantity Lubrication Drilling of Magnesium Alloys

Bhowmick, S., Alpas, A.T.
Surface & Coatings Technology, 205, 2011, 5302-5311.

The Role of Diamond-Like Carbon Coated Drills on Minimum Quantity Lubrication Drilling of Magnesium Alloys

Electrochemical Performance of a Tin-Coated Carbon Fibre Electrode for Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Shafiei, M., Alpas, A.T.
Journal of Power Sources, 196, 2011, 7771-7778.

Electrochemical Performance of a Tin-Coated Carbon Fibre Electrode for Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Material Transfer Mechanisms between Aluminum and Fluorinated Carbon Interfaces

Sen F.G., Qi Y., Alpas A.T.
Acta Materialia, 59, 2011, 2601–2614.
 
Material Transfer Mechanisms between Aluminum and Fluorinated Carbon Interfaces
 

In-situ Observations of Lithiation/ Delithiation Induced Graphite Damage during Electrochemical Cycling

Bhattacharya S., Riahi A.R., Alpas A.T.
Scripta Materialia, 64, 2011, 165-168.
 
In-situ Observations of Lithiation/ Delithiation Induced Graphite Damage during Electrochemical Cycling
 

Subsurface Sliding Wear Damage Characterization in Al-Si Alloys Using Focused Ion Beam and Cross-Sectional TEM Techniques

Meng-Burany X., Perry T.A., Sachdev A.K., Alpas A.T.
Wear, 270, 2011, 152-162.
 
 

High Temperature Tribological Behaviour of Carbon Based (B4C and DLC) Coatings in Sliding Contact with Aluminum

Abougharam A., Lukitsch M.J., Balogh M.P., Alpas A.T.
Thin Solid Films, 519, 2010, 1611–1617.
 
 

Tapping of Al-6.5%Si Alloys with Diamond-Like Carbon Coated Tools and Minimum Quantity Lubrication

Bhowmick S., Lukitsch M.J., Alpas A.T.
 
Tapping of Al-6.5%Si Alloys with Diamond-Like Carbon Coated Tools and Minimum Quantity Lubrication
 

Improvement of Platinum Adhesion to Carbon Surfaces Using PVD Coatings

Shafiei M., Riahi A.R., Sen F.G., Alpas A.T.
Surface & Coatings Technology, 205, 2010, 306-311.

 

Improvement of Platinum Adhesion to Carbon Surfaces Using PVD Coatings

 

Dry and Minimum Quantity Lubrication Drilling of a Magnesium (AM60) Alloy

Bhowmick S., Lukitsch M., Alpas A.T.
International Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture, 50, 2010, 444-457.


Dry and Minimum Quantity Lubrication Drilling of a Magnesium (AM60) Alloy

 

Microstructural Evolution during High Temperature Sliding Wear of Mg-3%Al-1%Zn (AZ31) Alloy

Das S., Morales A.T., Alpas A.T.
Wear, 268, 2010, 94-103.
 

Microstructural Evolution during High Temperature Sliding Wear of Mg-3%Al-1%Zn (AZ31) Alloy

 

Indentation-Induced Subsurface Damage in Silicon Particles of Al-Si Alloys

Bhattacharya S., Riahi A.R., Alpas A.T.
Materials Science and Engineering A 572, 2009, 387-396.
 

Indentation-Induced Subsurface Damage in Silicon Particles of Al-Si Alloys

 

Nanocrystalline Nickel Films with Lotus Leaf Texture for Superhydrophobic and Low Friction Surfaces

Shafiei M., Alpas A.T.
Applied Surface Science, 256, 2009, 710-719.
 

Nanocrystalline Nickel Films with Lotus Leaf Texture for Superhydrophobic and Low Friction Surfaces

 

Surface Stability and Electronic Structure of Hydrogen and Fluorine Terminated Diamond Surfaces: A First Principles Investigation

Sen F.G., Qi Y., Alpas A.T.
Journal of Materials Research, 24, 2009, 2461-2470.
 

Surface Stability and Electronic Structure of Hydrogen and Fluorine Terminated Diamond Surfaces: A First Principles Investigation