Macroscopic friction studies of alkylglucopyranosides as additives for water-based lubricants
Water-based lubricants might become an interesting alternative to conventional oil-based lubricants and help to reduce wear as well as improve the energy efficiency of transport processes. Since pure water is generally a rather poor lubricant due to its low viscosity and corrosiveness, it must be tribologically optimized with suitable additives. Here, we study the friction behavior of alkyl glucopyranosides (AGPs) with varying lengths of the alkyl chain. Sliding experiments show that a significant reduction in the coefficient of friction compared to that of pure water is observed. The extent of friction reduction depends strongly on the concentration and on the shearing conditions. It is assumed that the low coefficients of friction are due to the ability of AGPs to form liquid crystalline phases with an ordered structure in the friction gap. Furthermore, the interaction of the AGPs with the surface forms a wear protection layer (boundary lubrication). The friction properties of the water-based system are compared to those of a conventional, mineral oil-based lubricant.