The effects of phosphorus on the friction and wear characteristics of Cu-5 at. percent Sn-P alloys containing 1–5 at. percent P were studied using a pin on disc apparatus. The results showed that the decrease in both the coefficient of friction and the rate of wear became conspicuous with the increase in quantity of Cu3P coexisting in the matrix; its amount increases with the content of phosphorus. The structural changes in the surface of the specimen due to heating in a vacuum were observed by using Auger electron spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It was seen that the surface concentration of phosphorus strongly increased after heating at 573K, whereas the diffusion of tin atoms was markedly retarded. It was concluded from these results that the behavior of phosphorus atoms in the surface during sliding played an important role in the friction and wear characteristics of Cu-Sn-P alloys.

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