Tribochemistry of inconel 617 during sliding contact at 950 °C under helium environment for nuclear reactors

Md Saifur Rahman, Kyriaki Polychronopoulou, Andreas A. Polycarpou

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The present study, discusses the tribochemistry on the surfaces of Inconel 617 following tribological studies performed in He and air atmospheres at 950 °C. In the case of He atmosphere, uncoupling of the chemical and mechanical (wear) contributions was attained by performing aging experiments (namely heat treatment in He under 950 °C). In the case of tribo-experiments at 950 °C, studies of the surface inside and outside the wear track of the alloy using different microscopy and spectroscopy tools, along with pin-on-disk tribology experiments were employed. Under all conditions studied, the COF and wear were higher in He environment, compared to air atmosphere. For example, at 5 N normal load, 0.04 m/s sliding velocity, and temperature of 950 °C the COF was 0.45 in air and 1.4 in He. The formation and evolution of the metal oxides formed is tracked and discussed herein, as well as their contribution to tribochemistry, which plays a critical role in determining friction and wear performance of the alloy, especially at high temperature.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Helium tribology
  • Inconel 617
  • Nuclear reactor
  • Sliding wear
  • Tribochemistry


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