Mechanical properties and sliding wear behavior of potassium titanate whiskers-reinforced poly(ether ether ketone) composites under water-lubricated condition



Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) composites reinforced with potassium titanate whiskers (PTW) were compounded using a twin-screw extruder followed by injection molding. The effects of PTW on the mechanical properties, crystallization performances and wear behaviors of PEEK under water lubrication have been investigated. It was denoted that the yield strength, Young's modulus, and microhardness of the composites increased with increasing whisker content, but the elongation at break and the impact strength showed decreasing trend. It was revealed that the inclusion of PTW could effectively reduce the friction coefficient and enhance the wear resistance of the PEEK. The DSC tests showed that the crystallinity of the composite slightly decreased with the addition of PTW, which might imply that the crystallinity of PEEK was not the dominant factor that influenced the wear properties of the composites. The enhancement on the wear resistance was attributed to the reinforced effect of PTW on PEEK. The wear mechanism changed from fatigue wear into mild abrasive wear when the PTW was added into PEEK. The lowest wear rate 9.3 × 10−8 mm3/Nm was achieved at 10 wt % PTW content. However, excessive whiskers would cause severe abrasive wear to the composite. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010