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An Oil-Based Lubrication System Based on Nanoparticular TiO2 with Superior Friction and Wear Properties


We evaluated the performance of five different commercially available nanoparticle classes as additives for an oil-based lubrication system. While the silicon dioxide particles Aerosil® 300, RY300, and R972V tended to increase wear and friction in our 100Cr6 versus cast iron disc–disc contact, Aeroxide® P 25 and especially T 805 TiO2 nanoparticles showed superior anti-wear and anti-friction properties. The underlying tribological mechanism was investigated with optical microscopy, helium ion microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Subsequently, we formulated a stable lubrication system based on the best performing T 805 particles. Here, the base oil is a highly purified paraffin oil which was supplemented with 1 wt% T 805 TiO2 particles, 1 wt% Estisol® 242 or 1 wt% oleic acid, 0.15 wt% oleylamine, and 0.15 wt% Pluronic® RPE 2520. Superior lubrication and anti-wear properties of this formulation were demonstrated in 4-h test runs with a normal force of F N  = 2.5 kN and a sliding velocity of 0.15 m/s in our disc–disc contact. Wear was significantly reduced along with a nearly 12-fold reduction in the friction coefficient, compared to the base oil \((\mu_{\text{base}}^{\text{fto}} = 0.155\;\;{\text{vs}} .\;\;\mu_{\text{T805}}^{\text{fto}} \approx 0.01)\). Using 100Cr6 disc–ball contacts, we additionally analyzed the properties of our lubrication system in the border friction regime under higher loads (F N  = 0.5 kN) in 2-h runs. In particular, on the discs with lower engagement ratio, chemo-tribological protective layers were built, which protected the parts very well against wear.

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We acknowledge Bio-Circle surface technology GmbH, Gütersloh, Germany, for providing the tribometer and many test chemicals, Evonik Industries for providing nanoparticles, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for funding this work within the ZIM initiative, and Paul Penner for providing XPS measurements.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Lukas Bogunovic.

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Bogunovic, L., Zuenkeler, S., Toensing, K. et al. An Oil-Based Lubrication System Based on Nanoparticular TiO2 with Superior Friction and Wear Properties. Tribol Lett 59, 29 (2015).

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  • Nanoparticle additives
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Friction
  • Wear
  • Lubrication
  • Dispersion