Experimental study of carbon nanotubes in high viscosity lubricants
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Publication date: 2019-10-01
Combustion Engines 2019,179(4), 216–219
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) beneficial tribological properties were reported in numerous studies performed mostly in idealized tribometer conditions, previously described full engine tests confirmed that CNTs added to the lubricating oil reduced friction significantly. Apparently the engine application requires low CNT concentration in oil, otherwise when increasing the CNT concentration beyond a certain level oil viscosity increases, rapidly forming a greasy substance not suitable for engine lubrication. In this paper we report a study of tribological properties of such a high viscosity lubricant performed in Amsler tribometer in comparison to high quality commercially available lithium grease. The CNT based high viscosity lubricant in its current formulation turned out as not reliable for general application due to its low adhesion to the metal surface. In contrary to some samples made of a polymer widely used in industry as a friction component, we observed wear reduction reaching nearly 50% when replacing the best suitable lithium grease by a CNT based lubricant. This effect was first observed after 30 min into a friction test, suggesting a CNT related mechanism of anti-wear protection which still need to be explained.