The thermal stability and tribological properties of cyanate ester (CE) composites filled with Zirconium boride (ZrB 2 ) particles were investigated by experimental and numerical simulation. The results of thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry showed that the thermal stability of composites was improved by introduction of ZrB 2 particles. The tribological properties of composites including friction coefficient and wear rate measured by pinon-disk friction and wear tester were enhanced. Friction coefficient and wear rate of composites were decreased significantly with an increase of ZrB 2 particles content under dry and oil sliding conditions. The 5 wt% ZrB 2 particles reinforced CE resin composite presented optimal thermal stability and tribological performance due to good dispersion of ZrB 2 particles. The worn surfaces of composites were observed by scanning electron microscopy to explore wear mechanism, indicating that the dominant wear mechanism of composites was transformed from adhesive wear to abrasive wear after incorporation of ZrB 2 particles. Finite element model was established to study the distribution of friction stress. The results revealed that filling ZrB 2 particles in the friction process of composites could bear more friction stress than CE resin matrix, which further illustrated that abrasive wear is main wear mechanism of ZrB 2 /CE resin composites. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 59:602-607, 2019.
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