2022 Volume 67 Issue 9 Pages 662-671
Focusing on HFO (Hydro Fluoro Olefin) refrigerant, which is expected to be applied as a green refrigerant, the effect of R1234yf on the tribological characteristics was compared with HFC (Hydro Fluoro Carbon) refrigerant R32. Tribological tests were carried out with and without a model lubricant containing triethyl phosphate as an EP additive. R1234yf showed a lower friction coefficient and better wear resistance than R32. XPS analysis of lubricated tracks revealed that metal fluoride was formed from R1234yf and R32 and higher amount of metal fluoride was observed on the track formed under R1234yf than that under R32. The frictional characteristics of R1234yf were affected by refrigerant pressure and temperature of specimen. The higher the pressure of refrigerant and the temperature of the specimen, the better the tribological characteristics were observed. In order to clarify adsorption of refrigerant on metal surface, scratching tests were carried out under refrigerant atmosphere using a mass spectrometer. Although R32 did not adsorb, R1234yf adsorbed on nascent steel surface formed by scratching. The adsorption rate of R1234yf increased linearly with scratching speed. Since propylene also adsorbed on nascent steel surface, π-electrons in R1234yf play an important role on the adsorption. It can be concluded that R1234yf adsorbs easily on nascent steel surface resulting in formation of iron fluoride which acts as a boundary lubrication layer.