Effects of single asperity geometry on friction and wear of PEEK

The tribological properties of Poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK) were studied systematically by multiple scratch tests in both unidirection and bidirection mode on the micro- and nano-length scale. The tip geometry has a strong influence on the scratch friction behavior, in particular on the scratch initiation and on the resulting damage patterns. Plowing contributions to friction are significant for nano-scale tips during the initial scratch cycles. Shear contributions dominate for both nano- and micro-scale once a groove has been established by multiple scratches. While the damaging mechanisms are the same for both micro- and nano-scratch tests, the resulting damaging patterns differ depending on the scratching mode (unidirection or bidirection) and the normal load. Patchy layers of material formed by scratching are torn into fracture by nano-scale tips, while they are stretched to flakes by the micro-scratch indenter.