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Synergistic effects of antiwear and friction modifier additives

: Eickworth, J.; Aydin, E.; Dienwiebel, M.; Rühle, T.; Wilke, P.; Umbach, T.R.


Industrial lubrication and tribology 72 (2020), No.8, pp.1019-1025
ISSN: 0036-8792
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWM ()

Purpose: Interactions of different additive types for antiwear/friction modification on surfaces can be synergistic or antagonistic in nature. This paper aims to investigate whether there are interactions between different additives in the adsorption process and whether they synergistic or antagonistic. The yielded correlations will be validated with tribological experiments to answer the question whether synergistic effects in adsorption also lead to synergistic effects in wear reduction.
Design/methodology/approach: In a representative study, zinc dialkyl-dithiophosphate and dithiophosphate were elaborated in combination with two different friction modifiers, a glycerol monooleate and an organic friction modifier. As base oils, mineral oil and poly alpha olefine were used. The adsorption behavior was studied via quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation using Fe2O3 coated quartz crystals. The tribological performance was evaluated in a ball-on-three disk tribometer. White light interferometry was used to determine the wear volume and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth profiles of the tribofilms were obtained on selected systems.
Findings: The combination of dithiophosphate and an organic friction modifier (OFM) revealed a synergistic effect in terms of wear. If the initially formed films are viscoelastic, the third body formation during a tribo experiment is more pronounced and thereby wear can be reduced. As a mechanism, the adsorption of the OFM on the formed antiwear layer is proposed.
Originality/value: Correlating the analytical findings with performance experiments provides further understanding of the interactions between different constituents and their implications on film formation processes and wear reduction mechanisms.