skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Carbon-based tribofilms from lubricating oils

Abstract

Moving mechanical interfaces are commonly lubricated and separated by a combination of fluid films and solid 'tribofilms', which together ensure easy slippage and long wear life(1). The efficacy of the fluid film is governed by the viscosity of the base oil in the lubricant; the efficacy of the solid tribofilm, which is produced as a result of sliding contact between moving parts, relies upon the effectiveness of the lubricant's anti-wear additive (typically zinc dialkyldithiophosphate)(2). Minimizing friction and wear continues to be a challenge, and recent efforts have focused on enhancing the anti-friction and anti-wear properties of lubricants by incorporating inorganic nanoparticles and ionic liquids(3,4). Here, we describe the in operando formation of carbon-based tribofilms via dissociative extraction from base-oil molecules on catalytically active, sliding nanometre-scale crystalline surfaces, enabling base oils to provide not only the fluid but also the solid tribofilm. We study nanocrystalline catalytic coatings composed of nitrides of either molybdenum or vanadium, containing either copper or nickel catalysts, respectively. Structurally, the resulting tribofilms are similar to diamond-like carbon(5). Ball-on-disk tests at contact pressures of 1.3 gigapascals reveal that these tribofilms nearly eliminate wear, and provide lower friction than tribofilms formed with zinc dialkyldithiophosphate. Reactive and ab initio molecular-dynamicsmore » simulations show that the catalytic action of the coatings facilitates dehydrogenation of linear olefins in the lubricating oil and random scission of their carbon-carbon backbones; the products recombine to nucleate and grow a compact, amorphous lubricating tribofilm.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) - Advanced Manufacturing Office; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) - Office of Vehicle Technology; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1350076
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature (London); Journal Volume: 536; Journal Issue: 7614
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Erdemir, Ali, Ramirez, Giovanni, Eryilmaz, Osman L., Narayanan, Badri, Liao, Yifeng, Kamath, Ganesh, and Sankaranarayanan, Subramanian K. R. S. Carbon-based tribofilms from lubricating oils. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1038/nature18948.
Erdemir, Ali, Ramirez, Giovanni, Eryilmaz, Osman L., Narayanan, Badri, Liao, Yifeng, Kamath, Ganesh, & Sankaranarayanan, Subramanian K. R. S. Carbon-based tribofilms from lubricating oils. United States. doi:10.1038/nature18948.
Erdemir, Ali, Ramirez, Giovanni, Eryilmaz, Osman L., Narayanan, Badri, Liao, Yifeng, Kamath, Ganesh, and Sankaranarayanan, Subramanian K. R. S. Wed . "Carbon-based tribofilms from lubricating oils". United States. doi:10.1038/nature18948.
@article{osti_1350076,
title = {Carbon-based tribofilms from lubricating oils},
author = {Erdemir, Ali and Ramirez, Giovanni and Eryilmaz, Osman L. and Narayanan, Badri and Liao, Yifeng and Kamath, Ganesh and Sankaranarayanan, Subramanian K. R. S.},
abstractNote = {Moving mechanical interfaces are commonly lubricated and separated by a combination of fluid films and solid 'tribofilms', which together ensure easy slippage and long wear life(1). The efficacy of the fluid film is governed by the viscosity of the base oil in the lubricant; the efficacy of the solid tribofilm, which is produced as a result of sliding contact between moving parts, relies upon the effectiveness of the lubricant's anti-wear additive (typically zinc dialkyldithiophosphate)(2). Minimizing friction and wear continues to be a challenge, and recent efforts have focused on enhancing the anti-friction and anti-wear properties of lubricants by incorporating inorganic nanoparticles and ionic liquids(3,4). Here, we describe the in operando formation of carbon-based tribofilms via dissociative extraction from base-oil molecules on catalytically active, sliding nanometre-scale crystalline surfaces, enabling base oils to provide not only the fluid but also the solid tribofilm. We study nanocrystalline catalytic coatings composed of nitrides of either molybdenum or vanadium, containing either copper or nickel catalysts, respectively. Structurally, the resulting tribofilms are similar to diamond-like carbon(5). Ball-on-disk tests at contact pressures of 1.3 gigapascals reveal that these tribofilms nearly eliminate wear, and provide lower friction than tribofilms formed with zinc dialkyldithiophosphate. Reactive and ab initio molecular-dynamics simulations show that the catalytic action of the coatings facilitates dehydrogenation of linear olefins in the lubricating oil and random scission of their carbon-carbon backbones; the products recombine to nucleate and grow a compact, amorphous lubricating tribofilm.},
doi = {10.1038/nature18948},
journal = {Nature (London)},
number = 7614,
volume = 536,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Aug 03 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Wed Aug 03 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}