An innovative approach was adopted for fabricating ZTA–MoS2 self-lubricating ceramic composite with inclusion of hydrothermally synthesized nano MoS2 through the pores of perforated ZTA ceramics. This method avoided the exposure of MoS2 in high temperature environment due to its in-sensitiveness during traditional sintering techniques. Different weight percentages (wt.%: 0, 5, 10 and 15) of graphite were incorporated to produce porous ZTA ceramic by means of cold press sintering followed by insertion of nano MoS2 into the matrix. Best tribological characteristics was obtained with 10 wt% graphite-ZTA-MoS2 specimen which offered an improvement of ~66% in coefficient of friction and ~96% in specific wear rate when dry sliding tests were carried out against Si3N4 in high vacuum(5.0×10−4 mbar). Nano MoS2 was sheared off at the contacting interface during sliding under load to provide tribological enhancement of the composite. Delamination was found as the dominating wear mechanism in ZTA-MoS2 composite during wear test.

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