Reducing friction on glass substrates by atmospheric plasma-polymerization of APTES

Research paper by Rodolfo Múgica-Vidal, Fernando Alba-Elías, Elisa Sainz-García, Ana González-Marcos

Indexed on: 14 Oct '16Published on: 12 Oct '16Published in: Surface and Coatings Technology


The friction between glass and elastomeric parts in vehicles can cause problems like uncomfortable noises, vibrations and damage to the sliding surfaces that have a negative impact on the quality of the product. These problems are usually addressed by modifying the elastomeric surfaces in order to reduce friction. However, the recent development of atmospheric-pressure plasma technologies offers new alternatives for surface treatment and coating deposition in large areas. Therefore, this work attempts to reduce friction by the deposition of SiOx-based coatings on glass substrates in an atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ) system, using aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) as precursor. Different numbers of passes and plasma powers were used in the deposition process to identify the influence of these parameters on the growth, morphology, chemistry and tribological behavior of the coatings. These characteristics were studied by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), tribological tests, profilometry, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The thickness and chemical composition of the coatings appear to determine their tribological behavior. The reason is that sufficient inorganic character and thickness seem to be necessary to effectively reduce the friction coefficient of glass. The coating that was obtained with the greatest number of passes and plasma power used in this work (i.e., 18 passes and 550 W) exhibited the best tribological behavior. This coating achieved a reduction of 86% in the friction coefficient of the uncoated glass without significantly impairing its wear resistance. The results of this research suggest that the APPJ systems provide a promising technology to reduce the friction of glass surfaces. This technology also can be attractive for glass that is used in solar panels and architectural applications.

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