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Examples of corrosion are found in many industrial applications ranging from aeronautical, automotive, naval, and the construction industry over home appliances, water systems, pipelines, and ‘bio’ applications. Corrosion phenomena can be significantly accelerated by the simultaneous occurrence of a mechanical load on the surface: the formation of cracks and surface defects, along with surface strain and stress fields lead to faster diffusion of corrosive ions or the destruction of protective layers (depassivation). Thus there is a need to understand the synergy between wear and corrosion.
The failure of the hip replacement is often a combination of tribocorrosion of the hip joint materials and inflammations due to wear particles in the body. A new methodology needs to be developed so as to allow for a fast prescreening of the reliability of new biomaterials, in conditions that simulate the actual conditions (e.g. environment, motion, contact pressure, countermaterial).
Polymer based composites are considered as one of the most important engineering materials for naval applications. They can be used in the superstructures, decks, bulkheads, advanced mast systems, propellers, propulsion shafts, rudders, pipes, pumps, valves, machinery and other equipment on large ships. In the majority of these applications these composites are subjected to mechanical loading in a corrosive environment. Thus their performance and/or lifetime is strongly dependent on both of these factors. In this application a methodology was developed to evaluate the effect of the corrosive environment (seawater) on the tribological performance of composite polymers is sliding contacts.