NanoTech Lubricants: In the industry, most of the surfaces in mutual contact (i.e., bearings, seals and gears) are lubricated with specific oils in order to control friction and wear. Many scientific researchers have been published on the tribological properties of nanoparticles-based lubricants and the phenomena regarding any mechanical system in relation to friction and wear, strongly depends upon the characteristics of the nanoparticles, such as shape, size and concentration within the lubricant.
Even a small concentration of nanoparticles (a few tenths of a percent by weight) could be sufficient to improve the tribological properties of the system. When the load between the sliding parts is small (low load conditions), friction reduction is mainly ascribable to the bearing-like behavior of nanoparticles, that roll between the contact surfaces, keeping their shape intact; for high load conditions, a coating, induced by the presence of nanoparticles, is deposited on the crests of surface roughness and it can reduce direct contact between the asperities, thus, minimize wear.
Because of the nature (inorganic and refractory) of the nanoparticles generally used as filler, the optimal performances achieved by the nano-lubricant can also be maintained in the working conditions at high temperature, thus avoiding the typical degradation of the traditional organic additives.
A major challenge to face, in order to scale up the use of nanoparticles as filler for lubricants, is related to their dispersion within fluids, which is often not uniform. Their small size, in fact, causes the attractive forces to rule over the other types of forces. This phenomenon generally causes aggregation and precipitation of nanoparticles. This issue shows that nanoparticles in lubricants need to be dispersed with other methods in order to optimize their stability, most likely they need to be surface-functionalized with organic treatments.
A lubricant is derived from mineral oils or synthetic hydrocarbon blends. However, in order to fulfill the requirements set by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), they lack properties of their own. A common solution to this problem is to include relatively small but effective additives in the formulation of the base stock, which leads to remarkable improvements to the attribute of the lubricants, such as introducing anti-oxidation capability, tribological characteristics, and thermal properties. Nanotechnology offers the opportunity to improve the performance of lubricant oil via the utilization of nano-additives. The addition of nanoparticles to common base oils is a promising approach towards enhancing certain characteristics, such as friction and wear resistance. This communication overview works on nano-additives in the lubricant industry. It encompasses general base fluids and common oil additives, and more narrow focus such as the application of nano-scale particles. Finally, this communication will highlight the future prospects of nanoparticles in the context of the lubricant industry.
Numerous nanoparticles have recently been investigated for use as oil additives. Nano -powders of some metals and their compounds exert an especially effective influence on the characteristics of lubricants. The use of nanoparticles that include Cu, CuO, Fe, Ni, TiO2 and other metallic nanoparticles additives in lubricating oils provides good friction reduction and anti-wear behavior.
NanoTech Lubricants: Most lubricants are liquid oil-based materials:
• Fatty acids
• Mineral and synthetic oils (groups I, II, III, IV, and V)
• Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2)
• Tungsten disulfide (WS2)
• Sp-bonded carbon
Using ‘hybrid’ Nanolubricants additives in metalworking fluids (oil-based, vegetable oil, and water-based MWF) Advantages
• Improvement in surface roughness
• Increase in G-ratio
• Spontaneous heat transfer
• Reduction in grinding forces
Suspended nanoparticles in various base fluids can alter the fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics of the base fluids. These suspensions of nano sized particles in the base fluids are called nanofluids.
Nanofluids are suspensions of nanoparticles in a base fluid, typically water. The term nanoparticle comes from the Latin prefix “nano”. It prefix is used to denote the 10-9 part of a unit. Recent development of nanotechnology brings out a new heat transfer coolant called nanofluids. These fluids exhibit larger thermal properties than conventional coolants.
The much larger relative surface area of nanoparticles, compared to those of conventional particles, not only significantly improves heat transfer capabilities, but also increases the stability of the suspension.
Friction coefficients of the Nanodiamond lubricant and the base oil
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