Tribofilms formed by additives in lubricants represent a key mechanism for preventing wear but are difficult to investigate because of the complexity of the composition of lubricants, their small thickness, and their amorphous nature. The tribological profile of such tribofilms can be established based on a new test methodology described here. For a large range of additives, the corresponding chemically reactive tribofilms were generated in 2Disk test rigs on widely used reference steels, such as 100Cr6 (SAE52100), Cronidur 30 (AMS 5898), or 20MnCr5 Quenched & Tempered (Q&T) (SAE4820/SAE5120), during slip-rolling in the mixed/boundary lubrication regime at 120°C. The performance of the created tribofilms is compared to those created on alternative steels, such as 36NiCrMoV1-5-7, 45SiCrMo6, or even Diamond-Like Coating (DLC)-coated steels, using the same additives.
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