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Scholars Develop Functional Coating to Offer Non-Grease Lubrication & Corrosion Protection

Published on 2014-06-18. Author : SpecialChem

Machine parts wear, if there is friction between their metal surfaces. Lubricants and functional oils help prevent this. They attract dirt, debris and dust, and over time form lumps or become resinous. Machine parts then have to be intensively cleaned and regreased, which leads to more frequent maintenance, greater consumption of resources, polluting waste or machine breakdowns. Researchers at the INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have now developed a functional coating which lubricates without grease and protects against corrosion at the same time. It is suitable as a coating for metals and metal alloys such as steel, aluminum or magnesium.

The researchers of the INM presented this and further results at the Hannover Messe in the context of the leading trade fair for R & D and Technology Transfer. This included new developments of transparent and conducting layers, CIGS solar cells, antimicrobial coatings and corrosion protection coatings as well as printed electronics.

"The thing about our bonded coating is its composition and structure", explained Carsten Becker-Willinger, Head of the Nanomers Program Division. "We have incorporated platelet-like solid lubricants and platelet-like particles in a binder. When this mixture is applied to a surface, it produces a well-ordered structure in which these various particles are arranged in a roof tile pattern", he adds. This forms a so-called transfer film between the low friction coating and the object through which surfaces can slide with the minimum of friction. "The particular mixture ratio means that our composite has a very low coefficient of friction. If we only used a solid lubricant, the coefficient of friction would be considerably higher", said the chemist.

The roof tile structure not only provides low-friction sliding, it also acts as a barrier. This is a particular advantage because as a result the material also prevents moisture or salts penetrating metal surfaces, thus also protecting against corrosion. In a neutral salt spray context, the composite has a corrosion resistance of over 1000 hours on low-alloy steel.

The bonded coating can be applied using classic wet chemistry processes such as spraying or dipping. The roof tile structure forms by simple thermal curing without any further assistance in self-organization.

INM conducts research and development to create new materials – for today, tomorrow and beyond. Chemists, physicists, biologists, materials scientists and engineers team up to focus on these essential questions: Which material properties are new, how can they be investigated and how can they be tailored for industrial applications in the future? Four research thrusts determine the current developments at INM: New materials for energy application, new concepts for medical surfaces, new surface materials for tribiological applications and nano safety and nano bio. Research at INM is performed in three fields: Nanocomposite Technology, Interface Materials, and Bio Interfaces.

About INM

INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, situated in Saarbruecken, is one of the internationally leading centers for materials research. It is an institute of the Leibniz INM is focused on the research and development of materials - for today, tomorrow and the future. Chemists, physicists, biologists, materials and engineering scientists shape the work at INM. It is a scientific partner to national and international institutes and a provider of research and development for companies throughout the world. INM is an institute of the Scientific Association Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and employs around 180 collaborators. Its main research fields are Chemical Nanotechnology, Interface Materials, and Materials in Biology.

Source: INM


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