The rapid adoption of the advantageous PEEK/steel pairing in many tribological applications has prompted intense research to optimize its lubrication. Thus, the role of organic friction modifiers (OFMs) in improving the lubrication of PEEK-steel contacts has been studied and their mechanism explained. Their effect on friction and wear depends on the type of contact motion (i.e. sliding or sliding-rolling) and the steel surface roughness. N-oleoyl sarcosine had a significant effect on tribological properties due to its ability to absorb strongly on both materials, inhibit the formation of PEEK transfer films on steel and thus exert either a positive or negative effect depending on the test conditions.
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