Grafting of Dispersants on MoS2 Nanoparticles in Base Oil Lubrication of Steel
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Solid lubricant nanoparticles in suspension in oil are good lubricating options for practical machinery. In this article, we select a range of dispersants, based on their polar moieties, to suspend 50-nm molybdenum disulfide particles in an industrial base oil. The suspension is used to lubricate a steel on steel sliding contact. A nitrogen-based polymeric dispersant (aminopropyl trimethoxy silane) with a free amine group and an oxygen-based polymeric dispersant (sorbital monooleate) when grafted on the particle charge the particle negatively and yield an agglomerate size which is almost the same as that of the original particle. Lubrication of the contact by these suspensions gives a coefficient of friction in the ~0.03 range. The grafting of these surfactants on the particle is shown here to be of a chemical nature and strong as the grafts survive mechanical shear stress in tribology. Such grafts are superior to those of other silane-based test surfactants which have weak functional groups. In the latter case, the particles bereft of strong grafts agglomerate easily in the lubricant and give a coefficient of friction in the 0.08–0.12 range. This article investigates the mechanism of frictional energy dissipation as influenced by the chemistry of the surfactant molecule.
KeywordsNanoparticle Dispersant Grafting Base oil Nanotribology FTIR
The authors are grateful to the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd for the financial support and useful technical discussions which enabled the implementation of this work. They are also grateful to Ms. Arati B Chikorde and Mr. H. S. Shamasundar for their laboratory support.
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