In view of their possible application as high temperature solid lubricants, the tribological and thermochemical properties of several organosilica networks were investigated over a range of temperatures between 25 and 580 °C. Organosilica networks, obtained from monomers with terminal and bridging organic groups, were synthesized by a sol-gel process. The influence of carbon content, crosslink density, rotational freedom of incorporated hydrocarbon groups, and network connectivity on the high temperature friction properties of the polymer was studied for condensed materials from silicon alkoxide precursors with terminating organic groups, i.e., methyltrimethoxysilane, propyltrimethoxysilane, diisopropyldimethoxysilane, cyclohexyltrimethoxysilane, phenyltrimethoxysilane and 4-biphenylyltriethoxysilane networks, as well as precursors with organic bridging groups between Si centers, i.e., 1,4-bis(triethoxysilyl)benzene and 4,4'-bis(triethoxysilyl)-1,1'-biphenyl. Pin-on-disc measurements were performed using all selected solid lubricants. It was found that materials obtained from phenyltrimethoxysilane and cyclohexyltrimethoxysilane precursors showed softening above 120 °C and performed best in terms of friction reduction, reaching friction coefficients as low as 0.01. This value is lower than that of graphite films (0.050 ± 0.005), a common bench mark for solid lubricants.
- Coefficient of friction