July 24, 2013
The Pesika lab, in collaboration with Dr. Khismatullin (BME, Tulane) was awarded a research grant by the National Science Foundation to better understand the mechanisms involved in the lubrication of porous polymer-based surfaces or coatings with ultra-low coefficients of friction. These mechanisms arise from the partial hydrodynamic repulsive forces that act between shearing compliant surfaces. A combination of tribology experiments and simulations will be used to guide the design of a macroscopic porous polymer-based surface to attain minimal coefficients of friction. Specifically, the project will involve the determination of the optimal geometrical parameters of pores within a polymer through simulations and supported by experiments, the determination of the lubrication performance through longevity studies, and the fabrication of a macroscopic prototype of the ultra-low shearing surfaces. If successful, the research will improve the performance and durability of artificial knee and hip replacement devices. Specifically, these low friction polymer surfaces have the potential to be used as a biocompatible mimic for cartilage and synovial fluid in diseased or damaged joints, which affects a large fraction of the elderly population. Furthermore, these ultra-low friction surfaces may be used as lubricating surfaces in a wide range of machinery involving moving parts.
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