Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Daniel P Hess, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas G Eason, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Glen H Besterfield, Ph.D.


friction clamps, inchworm motors, friction, wear, coatings


This thesis focuses on identifying hard material pairs with low roughness, high coefficient of static friction, high wear resistance and high modulus of elasticity, suitable for sliding in dry friction conditions under a normal load. A wide range of materials including various steels, various coatings on tool steels deposited by various deposition techniques and different ceramics were examined and considered for tribological testing. Procedures and sequences were developed for conducting tribology tests on the material pairs. High endurance - low cycle tests were conducted and based on the performance of material pairs with respect to friction, wear and surface roughness a small set of material pairs and coatings was selected for further testing. High endurance - high cycle tests were performed on an additional seventeen pairs of material pairs selected for long term sliding. Material pairs were selected for low endurance tests based on high corrosion resistance along with all the above specified design parameters. Low endurance tests were conducted to identify material pairs sliding for a short distance in humid environments. Results are tabulated and pictures of the material pairs after wear tests are presented.

It was found that four material pairs for high endurance applications and two pairs for the low endurance applications performed very well in regard of design specifications. These material pairs find a major application in friction clamps of an Inchworm motor resulting in enhancement of force output of the motor.