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Saturday, 24 May 2014

The latest development in lubricants.

Most industries believe synthetic lubricants are the latest development in lubricants – but they’re wrong!

Most lubricants are oil based (or synthetic oils), though others use powders, and even metals; and it’s been that way for decades. The world of lubrication is changing as the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM), Nematel GmbH, and Dr. Tillwich GmbH announce the latest development in lubricants based on liquid crystals instead of oil. According to Fraunhofer, this is the first fundamentally new lubricant developed in twenty years.

Liquid crystals spawn the latest development in lubricants.

Most people know liquid crystals as applied to digital displays and television sets, but they are actually found in everything from cell membranes to soapy water. As the name implies, a liquid crystal is a substance that is neither entirely a liquid, nor a crystal, but possesses the properties of both, such as a liquid that retains the structure of a solid crystal.

It’s this structure that provides the new lubricant with its slippery quality. In a normal liquid, the molecules are arranged in a random fashion, but a liquid crystal can align its molecules in parallel, so when two surfaces are coated with a liquid crystal lubricant, they slide past one another as if on a set of microscopic rails that are nearly frictionless.

Low friction drives the latest development in lubricants.

According to Fraunhofer, the new lubricants demonstrated very low friction surprisingly early in the tests. The lubricant layers exhibit a high level of stability and very low wear rate due to the long, thin nature of the molecules. Tests were carried out using lasers designed to measure extremely low friction coefficients.

The company says that the latest development in lubricants also uses additives to increase the lubricant’s stability. The chemical mechanism involved in ultra-low frictional coefficients as well as the affects of adding together different liquid crystal molecules, is also being studied. They've also been testing the lubricant in sliding bearings made of iron, copper, and ceramic.

When the project wound up, the latest development in lubricants had created a liquid crystalline lubricant prototype that performed best in sliding bearings made of iron. The team is currently working on developing sliding bearings using the liquid crystal lubricant for small electric motors for the car industry.

While you wait for the latest development in lubricants to reach commercial maturity Habot Synthetic Lubricants are able to supply you with the best quality full synthetic lubricants for your application. Contact them now for professional advice.

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