Disrupting Lubrication Industry: Achieving Superlubricity on Rough Steel Surfaces without Oil Under Sustained Sliding-Rolling Contact

A. Sumant
Argonne National Laboratory,
United States

Keywords: superlubricity, 2D materials


Although great progress has been made demonstrating superlubricity utilizing various two-dimensional (2D) materials as a solid lubricant, in various environments and at moderate to high contact pressures, the sustained, long-term reliability of these solid lubricants in more complex tribological conditions is yet to be established to consider them as a potential candidate for replacing oil-based lubricants. In this study, we show the demonstration of a fully dry solid lubricant showing superlubricity in rough steel against steel sliding-rolling contacts at high contact pressures (1GPa). We utilize MoS2+Graphene Oxide as a solid lubricant to produce ultra-low friction of 0.005 under rolling-sliding conditions for up to 200 hours (70 km sliding distance) of uninterrupted rolling-sliding. This was observed to result from complex physico-chemical and physico-mechanical phenomena occurring within the tribolayer. I’ll discuss the mechanism of formation of tribolayer and how it is playing a key role in friction/wear reduction. This demonstration paves the way for further development and realization of oil-free superlubricity in various real-world applications and helps toward the decarbonization goal in the lubrication industry