Modification of tribological properties of polyarylate by supercritical fluid impregnation of copper(II) hexafluoroacetylacetonate

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Polyarylate has been used as a model polymer to study its tribological property alteration during impregnation of copper(II) hexafluoroacetylacetonate in a supercritical carbon dioxide environment followed by thermal decomposition of the copper compound in air. The initial, impregnated and thermally treated polymer samples were tested by various tribological techniques to compare their wear resistance, friction coefficient fk and surface microhardness H. SEM, EDX and ESCA have been applied to determine surface and internal domain morphology, profiles of copper complex concentration, its types and influence on the tribological properties of the samples. Dramatic surface layer modification and significant enhancement of its wear resistance (more than 400%) due to this process have been observed and discussed.

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