Tribological properties of nano cellulose fatty acid esters as ecofriendly and effective lubricant additives
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Three cellulose esters, cellulose acetate-butyrate, cellulose acetate-octanoate, and cellulose acetate-laurate, were synthesized by both conventional co-reactant reaction (CCR) and mechanical activation-assisted co-reactant reaction (MACR) methods, and the corresponding nano-cellulose esters were prepared by high pressure homogenization to comparatively investigate their tribological properties as lubricant additives in liquid paraffin base oil. MACR method was more effective than CCR method for preparing long chain cellulose esters, and the MACR-prepared cellulose esters were more easily homogenized to smaller nanoparticles. Tribological testing indicated that anti-wear and load-carrying properties of the lubricants were significantly enhanced with nano-cellulose esters as additives compared to those of pure liquid paraffin, especially the MACR-prepared long chain cellulose esters. The wear scar diameter on worn surface of the steel balls reduced with the increase in degree of substitution (DS) and chain length of long chain substituents and the decrease in size dimension of nano-cellulose esters. The polar ester carbonyl groups, unesterified hydroxyl groups, and long hydrocarbon alkyl chains in nano-cellulose esters could lead to the formation of a film layer in the steel/steel contact surfaces for protecting the metals from friction and wear, which gave the lubricants with good anti-wear and load-carrying properties. The nano-cellulose esters with high DS and long chain substituents prepared by MACR technology as ecofriendly additives exhibited better lubricating ability.
KeywordsCellulose esters Nanoparticles Lubricant additives Anti-wear Load-carrying properties
This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51463003 and 21666005), Guangxi Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2017GXNSFEA198001), Guangxi Distinguished Experts Special Foundation of China, and the Scientific Research Foundation of Guangxi University (Grant No. XJPZ160713).
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