The effect of galvanically induced potentials on the friction and wear behavior of a 1RK91 stainless steel regarding to tribocorrosion was investigated using an oscillating ball-on-disk tribometer equipped with an electrochemical cell. The aim of this investigation is to develop a water-based lubricant. Therefore 1 molar sodium chloride (NaCl) and 1% 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [C 2mim][Cl] water solutions were used. Tribological performance at two galvanically induced potentials was compared with the non-polarized state: cathodic potential-coupling with pure aluminum- and anodic potential-coupling with pure copper. Frictional and electrochemical response was recorded during the tests. In addition, wear morphology and chemical composition of the steel were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively.
The galvanically induced cathodic polarization of the stainless steel surface results in electrochemical corrosion protection and the formation of a tribolayer. Cations from the electrolyte (sodium Na + and 1-ethyl- 3-methylimidazolium [C 2mim] +) interact and adhere on the surface. These chemical interactions lead to considerably reduced wear using 1 NaCl (86%) and 1% 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [C 2mim][Cl] (74%) compared to the nonpolarized system. In addition, mechanical and corrosive part of wear was identified using this electrochemical technique. Therefore this method describes a promising method to develop water-based lubricants for technical applications.