CHARACTERIZATION OF AN ANTI-WEAR COATING FOR THE APPLICATION OF HIGHLY LOADED SMART THIN-FILM SENSORS
Keywords:Bearings, Smart Thin-Film Sensors, Coating, Micro tribology, Friction, Wear
The global change in terms of economic and ecological requirements necessitates the application of innovative technologies. In addition, resources must be used more efficiently. Rolling bearings are still a part of almost all machines in industry to transmit rotational movements and mechanical loads. These systems, in addition to using high-strength and expensive materials, have higher requirements within manufacturing tolerances. Conventional machine elements in particular have optimization potential in terms of service life and reliability. To advance this potential, sensor integration for intelligent system monitoring combined with a compact electronic solution has to be realized. Technological progress in terms of digitization also makes it possible to handle large volumes of data and evaluate them in a targeted manner. Commercial applications for large rolling bearings are already available. The operating states are monitored via Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS). For this process, vibration sensors are used to identify bearing damage. Friction behavior can also be determined via additional temperature sensors. In this work, the tribological contact will be examined in more detail and sensor arrays will be applied inside the bearing system. This article presents the first stages of applying a thin-film sensor to the rolling bearing surface and analyzing it in terms of tribological loading. The thin-film sensor and the bearing surface were stressed in a defined manner by a microtribological tribometer. To protect the sensor from wear mechanisms, an aluminium oxide (Al2O3) thin film is deposited on the surface of the rolling bearing. After the tests, the wear track will be characterized. The focus of the investigation is the friction mechanisms and the adhesion strength. It was shown that the protective coating of the thin film sensor had an influence within the tribological system, but could be used under the given conditions.