Evaluation of Tribological Performance of Ceramic Roller Followers 900401
Tribological properties of three different ceramic materials i.e., reacted silicon nitride, pressureless sintered silicon nitride and alumina-titanium carbide composites were investigated as cam roller followers using a motorized valve train apparatus. One pair of each ceramic rollers and one pair of 52100 steel rollers were tested against a nodular cast iron camshaft. The contact areas were lubricated by a jet of mineral oil at 88°C. The tests were conducted at camshaft speeds of 250 and 3000 r.p.m which approximate idling and rated operating speeds of an engine.
The experiments were conducted for a period of 900 hours. At the end of each 100 hours of testing, the wear on the cam lobes and the ceramic rollers were measured. Also replicas were taken from the worn surfaces of ceramic rollers, steel rollers and cam lobes and examined under scanning electron microscope to record the progression of surface damage and the wear mechanisms were identified. It was concluded that ceramics can be used as an alternative cam roller follower materials.