3 Chemistry Advances in Industrial Lubricants

Industrial lubricants must stand up to a litany of challenges. From weathering extreme temperatures to sustaining continuous operation, lubricants help compressors, pumps, motors, and more perform their vital jobs.

Properly-composed lubricants reduce friction, increase output, and lengthen the lifespan of expensive industrial equipment. Which materials are changing the face of the industrial lubricant market, and where does chemical science go from here?

  1. Graphene-Enhanced Non-Liquid LubricantThere is a wide world of lubricants in use that aren’t liquids at all. In fact, some of the most-used lubricant compounds in the industrial space are “slurries” comprised of three or more metals, chemicals, and/or materials.

    Researchers at Purdue University have recently upped the ante of non-liquid lubricants by adding graphene to an already high-performing zinc oxide mixture. The slurry also contains polymer polyvinylidene difluoride. While the zinc and polymer provide adhesion and binding properties, the graphene offers incredibly high heat tolerance and conductivity. The material has great potential for use within the food industry, aerospace sector, and even for missile systems.

  1. Environmentally-Conscious LubricantsBio-based industrial lubricants are in high demand. The global lubricants market is growing especially fast thanks to demand from the automotive industry, itself investing heavily in eco-friendly chemicals and compounds.

    The soy-based bio-lubricant market is rife for expansion thanks to the growing availability of soy and soy-based compounds. Other biological sources for lubricants include algae, olefins, and even vegetable biproducts. Biolubricants actually offer an impressive number of advantages over traditional industrial lubricants including low toxicity, biodegradability, and minimal impact on the natural environment.

  1. 2D Hybrid Lubricants 

    Chemists are testing whether the key to lubricant advancement lies in hybridizing operational compounds. By combining two or more effective lubricants, can the weaknesses of each be overcome and the strengths of each be highlighted?Scientists in the Netherlands are working on a solid lubricant that utilizes 2D layers of inorganic crystalline titanate and organic amino acids. When heated, the polymers in the compound soften, effectively lubricating a variety of mechanical processes. The compound also shows promise as an alternative to high-toxicity alternatives.

Industrial lubricants are essential to a variety of American industries. Logging, railroad, agriculture, and manufacturing all rely on high-performance lubricants.

Noah Chemicals works with researchers all over the country to provide the chemicals and compounds needed to produce lubricants – both solid and liquid – with a focus on quality. To find out more the problem-solving capabilities of our in-house chemists or our streamlined logistics process, contact us today.

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