A lubricant is a substance that helps to reduce friction between surfaces that come into contact with each other, resulting in a reduction in the amount of heat generated as the surface moves. According to the different physical state, it can be divided into four types: solid type, gas type, liquid type and semi-solid type.
Typical solid lubricants include molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) powder, tungsten disulfide (WS2) powder, etc.
Molybdenum Disulfide MoS2
The main reason why molybdenum disulfide powder can be used as a solid lubricant is that it has a layered structure, and the binding force of sulfur atoms between layers (van der Waals force) is weak and easy to slide, thus showing a good antifriction effect; the sulfur atoms exposed on the crystal surface have a strong adhesion to the metal surface, forming a very strong film, so that its lubrication performance is better than that of graphite.
In addition, MoS2 powder has the advantages of good heat resistance and oxidation resistance, so it is more suitable to work in space and other vacuum than graphite. However, when using MoS2 powder as a lubricant, attention should be paid to the purity and particle size of the powder. Generally speaking, the lubrication performance of molybdenum disulfide powder with small particle size and high purity is better.
Tungsten Disulfide WS2
Tungsten disulfide powder is also a common solid lubricant, and its overall performance is better than that of molybdenum disulfide powder, so it can completely replace MoS2 powder in many cases, especially in high temperature environment.
The main reason why WS2 powder has good lubrication performance is that in the crystal structure, the S-W-S layer is bonded by a strong covalent bond, while the layer to layer is combined by a weak van der Waals force, so the layer and layer are easy to peel off, so that the material has a lower friction coefficient. In addition to having a lower friction coefficient than MoS2 powder (friction coefficient is 0.050.09 and lubrication temperature -185C-350C), it also has a wider range of lubrication temperature of-273C-650C.
Generally speaking, the tribological properties of WS2 powder are better than those of MoS2 powder at high temperature. However, at room temperature, the film-forming state of WS2 coating on metal substrate is not as good as that of MoS2 coating.
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