The effect of normal load on polytetrafluoroethylene tribology

Peter R. Barry, Patrick Y. Chiu, Scott S. Perry, W. Gregory Sawyer, Simon R. Phillpot, Susan B. Sinnott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The tribological behavior of oriented poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) sliding surfaces is examined as a function of sliding direction and applied normal load in classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The forces are calculated with the second-generation reactive empirical bond-order potential for short-range interactions, and with a Lennard-Jones potential for long-range interactions. The range of applied normal loads considered is 5-30nN. The displacement of interfacial atoms from their initial positions during sliding is found to vary by a factor of seven, depending on the relative orientation of the sliding chains. However, within each sliding configuration the magnitude of the interfacial atomic displacements exhibits little dependence on load over the range considered. The predicted friction coefficients are also found to vary with chain orientation and are in excellent quantitative agreement with experimental measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144201
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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