Wear behavior of polymeric sealing material sliding against austenitic stainless steel was evaluated within gaseous hydrogen atmosphere to ensure the durability and longevity of polymeric seals used in fuel cell vehicles and related hydrogen infrastructures. In this study, unfilled polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was considered as a representative polymeric material for seals and its wear behavior was evaluated by using 3pin-on-disk wear tester coupled with the environmental test chamber. Results indicated that the specific wear rate of unfilled PTFE became significantly smaller in gaseous hydrogen compared with that in air. However, the specific wear rate further decreased in argon gas. Optical microscopy and XPS analysis of the disk specimen surface indicated that the wear behavior of PTFE highly depended on the transfer film formation on the sliding counterface. Notable influences of gaseous hydrogen on the formation process of PTFE transfer film and subsequent wear behavior could be postulated from XPS spectra.

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