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Microscopic ice friction of polymeric substrates Stamboulides, Christos

Abstract

Interest in snow and ice friction comes from the need to understand and control phenomena of practical importance such as glacier and avalanche movement, traction of automobile tires, snow and ice sports. The need to minimize friction on ice and snow in competitive winter sports is the main motivation behind the present work. A novel tribometer was designed and utilized in conjunction with a conventional rheometer for measuring and understanding the mechanisms of ice friction over polymeric surfaces. Experiments were performed to measure friction between ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, polytetrafluoroethylene and poly(methyl methacrylate), and ice as a function of sliding velocity, temperature, surface roughness and hydrophobicity. Various techniques were utilized to modify the properties and characteristics of the polymeric surfaces. Light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy as well as surface profilometry were utilized to perform surface analysis and characterize the surface. A goniometer set-up was used for the measurement of the water contact angle measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for conducting the elemental analysis. Overall it was found that the magnitude of the sliding velocity and temperature play important roles in ice friction. The more hydrophobic polymers exhibit a lower coefficient of friction. Liquid fluorinated additives as well as a plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition in a fluorinated gas can improve the hydrophobicity of a polymer and decrease its coefficient of friction over ice. These two concepts can directly be applied in snow winter sports and more specifically in ski and snowboard bases production and preparation where greater speeds, shorter times and therefore less friction are in high demand.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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