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ACRC Technical Report 222PDF


Title:Tribological Studies on Scuffing Due to the Influence of Carbon Dioxide Used as a Refrigerant in Compressors
Author(s):Demas, N.G.; Polycarpou, Andreas A.; Conry, T.F.
tribological studies
Abstract:The refrigeration and air conditioning industry has expressed a great interest in the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant. CO2 is anticipated to replace HFC refrigerants, which are known to have a negative effect on the environment. The reason behind the interest in CO2 is the fact that it is a natural refrigerant, thus environmentally acceptable. Of course, such a replacement raises concerns regarding design criteria and performance due to the different thermodynamic properties of CO2 and the very different range of pressures required for the CO2 refrigeration cycle. So far, work related to CO2 has been done from a thermodynamics point of view and researchers have made significant progress developing automotive and portable air-conditioning systems that use the environmentally friendly carbon dioxide as a refrigerant. The purpose of this work is to develop an understanding of how CO2 plays a role from a tribology standpoint. More specifically, the goal of this work is to gain an understanding on how CO2 influences friction, lubrication, wear and scuffing of tribological pairs used in compressors. Work in the area of tribology related to CO2 is very limited. Preliminary work by Cusano and coworkers showed that consistent data for tests using CO2 could not be acquired nor could a satisfactory explanation be offered for the inconsistency. Their results triggered the initiation of the work presented here. In this first attempt to understand the tribological behavior of CO2 several problems were encountered. During this work we noted that its behavior, unlike conventional refrigerants, could not always be predicted. We believe that this can be attributed to the thermodynamic properties of CO2, which cannot be ignored when studying its tribological behavior. Thermodynamic Properties such as miscibility are very important when tribological testing is performed. A limiting factor with our tester was that it was not designed for CO2 testing, but for other conventional refrigerants and therefore made previously developed testing protocols non-applicable with CO2. Through a different approach and some modifications to our tester we were able to establish a protocol for testing under the presence of CO2. CO2 was then compared to R134a and the experimental results showed that it performs equally well.
Issue Date:2003-12
Publisher:Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center. College of Engineering. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Series/Report:Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center TR-202
Genre:Technical Report
Sponsor:Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Project 133
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-06-19

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