Tribology Letters

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 199–204 | Cite as

Microscopic Frictional Response of Sodium Oleate Self-Assembled on Steel

  • Deepak Kumar
  • Sanjay Kumar BiswasEmail author
Original Paper


The article peruses the frictional response of an important metal working lubricant additive, sodium oleate. Frictional force microscopy is used to track the response of molecules self-assembled on a steel substrate of 3–4 nm roughness at 0% relative humidity. The friction-normal load characteristic emerges as bell-shaped, where the peak friction and normal load at peak friction are both sensitive to substrate roughness. The frictional response at loads lower than that associated with the peak friction is path reversible while at higher loads the loading and unloading paths are different. We suggest that a new low-friction interface material is created when the normal loads are high.


Tribology Emulsifier Steel AFM 



The authors are grateful to the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) for the financial grant, which has made this work possible. They also acknowledge the help of Ms. Geetha, Ms. Savitha, Ms. Bindu, and Mr. H. S. Shamasunder for carrying out this work. They acknowledge the useful discussion they had with Prof. Roland Bennewitz of McGill University in preparing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of mechanical engineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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