Tribology Letters

, 67:2 | Cite as

Vacuum Tribological Performance of WS2–MoS2 Composite Film Against Oil-Impregnated Porous Polyimide: Influence of Oil Viscosity

  • Zhen Yan
  • Dong Jiang
  • Yanlong Fu
  • Dan Qiao
  • Xiaoming Gao
  • Dapeng Feng
  • Jiayi Sun
  • Lijun Weng
  • Haizhong Wang
Original Paper


To achieve the desired levels of performance and durability for bearings applied in space, a novel solid–liquid dual lubricating system was established via the WS2–MoS2 composite films sliding against oil-impregnated porous polyimide (PPI), in which polyalphaolefin (PAO) oils with different viscosities were used, respectively. The contact angle measurement indicated that the PAO oil had good wettability on the surfaces of the composite film and the PPI. The vacuum tribological behaviors of single WS2–MoS2 composite film and the dual lubricating system were mainly evaluated under different loads and speeds. In comparison with single WS2–MoS2 composite film, the dual lubricating system exhibited the low friction coefficient and synergistic lubricating effect for the low-viscosity PAO oil under severe sliding conditions. It was concluded that the cleavages of the WS2 and MoS2 crystals along the basal plane were more sufficient and formed small and thin WS2 and MoS2 platelets in the dual lubricating system. Meanwhile, it was found that oil-impregnated PPI readily released PAO lubricating oil with low viscosity, which further decreased friction on the contact interface. The lubricating mechanism of the dual lubricating system was also revealed after correlating the tribological behaviors of the different lubricating systems.


WS2–MoS2 composite film Porous polyimide Solid–liquid lubrication Friction 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51505463, 51705506, 51575508).


  1. 1.
    Hilton, M.R., Fleischauer, P.D.: Applications of solid lubricant films in spacecraft. Surf. Coat. Technol. 54–55, 435–441 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wu, Y.X., Liu, Y., Yu, S.W., Zhou, B., Tang, B., Li, H.X., Chen, J.M.: Influences of space irradiations on the structure and properties of MoS2/DLC lubricant film. Tribol. Lett. 64(24), 1–10 (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fan, X.Q., Xue, Q.J., Wang, L.P.: Carbon-based solid-liquid lubricating coatings for space applications—a review. Friction. 3(3), 191–207 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Liu, X.F., Wang, L.P., Xue, Q.J.: A novel carbon-based solid-liquid duplex lubricating coating with super-high tribological performance for space applications. Surf. Coat. Technol. 205(8–9), 2738–2746 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    González, R., Hernández Battez, A., Blanco, D., Viesca, J.L., Fernández-González, A.: Lubrication of TiN, CrN and DLC PVD coatings with 1-Butyl-1-Methylpyrrolidinium tris(pentafluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate. Tribol. Lett. 40, 269–277 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mutyala, K.C., Singh, H., Fouts, J.A., Evans, R.D., Doll, G.L.: Influence of MoS2 on the rolling contact performance of bearing steels in boundary lubrication: a different approach. Tribol. Lett. 61(20), 1–11 (2016)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paskvale, S., Remškar, M., Čekada, M.: Tribological performance of TiN, TiAlN and CrN hard coatings lubricated by MoS2 nanotubes in polyalphaolefin oil. Wear. 352–353, 72–78 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liu, Y.H., Xin, L., Zhang, Y.J., Chen, Y.F., Zhang, S.M., Zhang, P.Y.: The effect of Ni nanoparticles on the lubrication of a DLC-based solid-liquid synergetic system in all lubrication regimes. Tribol. Lett. 65(31), 1–9 (2017)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Espallargas, N., Vitoux, L., Armada, S.: The wear and lubrication performance of liquid-solid self-lubricated coatings. Surf. Coat. Technol. 235, 342–353 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Armada, S., Schmid, R., Equey, S., Fagoaga, I., Espallargas, N.: Liquid-solid self-lubricated coatings. J. Therm. Spray Technol. 22(1), 10–17 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Evans, D.C.: Self-lubricating bearings. Ind. Lubr. Tribol. 33(4), 132–138 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kang, S.C., Chung, D.W.: The synthesis and frictional properties of lubricant-impregnated cast nylons. Wear. 239, 244–250 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bertrand, P.A., Carré, D.J.: Oil exchange between ball bearings and porous polyimide ball bearing retainers. Tribol. Trans. 40(2), 294–302 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zhang, D., Wang, T.M., Wang, Q.H., Wang, C.: Selectively enhanced oil retention of porous polyimide bearing materials by direct chemical modification. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 134(29), 45106 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lv, M., Zheng, F., Wang, Q.H., Wang, T.M., Liang, Y.M.: Friction and wear behaviors of carbon and aramid fibers reinforced polyimide composites in simulated space environment. Tribol. Int. 92, 246–254 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jia, Z.N., Yan, Y.H., Wang, W.Z.: Preparation and tribological properties of PI oil-bearing material with controllable pore size. Ind. Lubr. Tribol. 69(2), 88–94 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lv, M., Wang, C., Wang, Q.H., Wang, T.M., Liang, Y.M.: Highly stable tribological performance and hydrophobicity of porous polyimide material filled with lubricants in a simulated space environment. RSC Adv. 5(66), 53543–53549 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yan, P.X., Zhu, P., Huang, L.J., Wang, X.D., Gu, H.P., Huang, P.: Study on tribological properties of porous polyimide containing lubricants. Tribology. 28(3), 272–276 (2008)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sathyan, K., Gopinath, K., Lee, S.H., Hsu, H.Y.: Bearing retainer designs and retainer instability failures in spacecraft moving mechanical systems. Tribol. Trans. 55, 503–511 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wang, J.Q., Zhao, H.J., Huang, W., Wang, X.L.: Investigation of porous polyimide lubricant retainers to improve the performance of rolling bearings under conditions of starved lubrication. Wear 380–381, 52–58 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gao, X.M., Hu, M., Sun, J.Y., Fu, Y.L., Yang, J., Liu, W.M., Weng, L.J.: Changes in the composition, structure and friction property of sputtered MoS2 films by LEO environment exposure. Appl. Surf. Sci. 330, 30–38 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sun, G., Bhowmick, S., Alpas, A.T.: Effect of atmosphere and temperature on the tribological behavior of the Ti containing MoS2 coatings against aluminum. Tribol. Lett. 65, 157–170 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zhao, X.Y., Zhang, G.G., Wang, L.P., Xue, Q.J.: The tribological mechanism of MoS2 film under different humidity. Tribol. Lett. 65, 64–72 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Todd, M.J.: Solid lubrication of ball-bearings for spacecraft mechanisms. Tribol. Int. 15, 331–337 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Qiu, Y.X., Wang, Q.H., Wang, C., Wang, T.M.: Oil-containing and tribological properties of porous polyimide containing lubricant oil. Tribology 32(6), 538–543 (2012)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Spalvins, T.: Friction and morphological properties of Au-MoS2 films sputtered from a compact target. Thin Solid Films 118, 372–384 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fleischauer, P.D., Lince, J.R.: A comparison of oxidation and oxygen substitution in MoS2 solid film lubricants. Tribol. Int. 32(11), 627–636 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Weimin Liu, L.W., Jiayi, S.: Handbook of Space Lubricating Materials and Technology, 1st edn. Science Press, Beijing (2009)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rai, Y., Neville, A., Morina, A.: Transient processes of MoS2 tribofilm formation under boundary lubrication. Lubr. Sci. 28(7), 449–471 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fayeulle, S., Ehni, P.D., Singer, I.L.: Role of transfer films in wear of MoS2 coatings. Tribol. Ser. 17, 129–138 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Marchetti, M., Vergne, M.M., Sicre, P., Durand, J.M.: Porous polyimide as oil reservoir in space mechanisms. In: International Tribology Conference (2000)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Quan, X., Hu, M., Gao, X.M., Fu, Y.L., Weng, L.J., Wang, D.S., Jiang, D., Sun, J.Y.: Friction and wear performance of dual lubrication systems combining WS2-MoS2 composite film and low volatility oils under vacuum condition. Tribol. Int. 99, 57–66 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Groszek, A.J.: Preferential adsorption of long-chains mormal paraffins on MoS2, WS2 and graphite from n-heptane. Nature 204, 680–680 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Andrews, G.I., Groszek, A.J., Hairs, N.: Measurement of surface areas of basal plane and polar sites in graphite and MoS2 powders. A S L E Trans. 15(3), 184–191 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Quan, X., Gao, X.M., Weng, L.J., Hu, M., Jiang, D., Wang, D.S., Sun, J.Y., Liu, W.M.: Tribological behavior of WS2-based solid/liquid lubricating systems dominated by the surface properties of WS2 crystallographic planes. RSC Adv. 5(80), 64892–64901 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations