Rev.Adv.Mater.Sci. (RAMS)
No 1, Vol. 36, 2014, pages 75-88


W. Zhang, G.J. Ma and C.W. Wu


The unique graphite-like layered structure of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) together with their high strength, high stiffness, high thermal conductivity and low density make them ideal for a wealth of technological applications. This article outlines the recent advances on the utilization of CNTs in tribology with the emphases on anti-friction, wear-proof and self-lubrication. To achieve such functions, CNTs can be either used directly as additives in various liquid lubricant media or embedded as fillers in polymer, metal and ceramic matrices. The critical issues such as processing technique, CNT dispersion and interfacial bonding are summarized. The mechanisms with respect to the improvement in tribological performance are highlighted as well. Our concentration throughout is on the exploration of the links among composition, structure and tribological property from viewpoint of fundamental scientific research. It is likely that this will deepen our understanding of the tribological role of CNTs and lead to the proliferation of their engineering applications.

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