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Research Papers: Lubricants

Influence of Carbon Nanotubes on Conductive Capacity and Tribological Characteristics of Poly(ethylene Glycol-Ran-Propylene Glycol) Monobutyl Ether as Base Oil of Grease

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiangyu Ge

School of Energy Power
and Mechanical Engineering,
North China Electric Power University,
Beijing 102206, China
e-mail: ge.x.y@hotmail.com

Yanqiu Xia

School of Energy Power
and Mechanical Engineering,
North China Electric Power University,
Beijing 102206, China;
State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication,
Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Lanzhou 730000, China
e-mail: xiayq@ncepu.edu.cn

Xin Feng

School of Energy Power
and Mechanical Engineering,
North China Electric Power University,
Beijing 102206, China
e-mail: fengxinemail@ncepu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received June 15, 2015; final manuscript received July 29, 2015; published online September 7, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Dae-Eun Kim.

J. Tribol 138(1), 011801 (Sep 07, 2015) (6 pages) Paper No: TRIB-15-1196; doi: 10.1115/1.4031232 History: Received June 15, 2015; Revised July 29, 2015

Carbon black (CB) and three kinds of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) including multiwalled CNTs (MWCNTs), carboxyl multiwalled CNTs (CMWCNTs), and single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) were doped as conductive additives in poly(ethylene glycol-ran-propylene glycol) monobutyl ether (denoted as PAG) to afford conductive greases in the presence of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) as the thickener and acetone as the polar dispersant. The effects of the conductive additives on the conductive capacity and tribological characteristics of the PAG grease were investigated, and the tribological action mechanisms of the conductive additives were analyzed in relation to worn surface analyses by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS). Results indicate that the SWCNTs can reduce the volume resistivity of the base grease by over 10,000 times. In the meantime, the CB and the three kinds of CNTs as conductive additives can improve the tribological characteristics of the base grease to some extent, and the CNTs are advantageous over the CB in improving the friction-reducing and antiwear abilities of the base grease. The reason lies in that CNTs with a small size and a large specific surface area can be easily adsorbed on sliding steel surfaces to form a surface protective film.

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Figures

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Fig. 5

(a) Mean COFs and (b) mean wear volumes of lower steel disks lubricated by as-prepared greases at various loads (frequency: 5 Hz, stroke: 5 mm, and duration: 30 mins)

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Fig. 4

(a) Mean COFs and (b) mean wear volumes of lower steel disks lubricated by as-prepared greases with a different additive content (load: 50 N, frequency: 5 Hz, stroke: 5 mm, and duration: 30 mins)

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Fig. 8

EDS patterns of the wear scars of lower steel disks lubricated by (a) and base grease, (b) and CB-doped grease, (c) and MWCNTs-doped grease, (d) and CMWCNTs-doped grease and (e) and SWCNTs-doped grease (load: 200 N, stroke: 5 mm, and duration: 30 mins)

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Fig. 1

SEM images of (a) CB, (b) MWCNTs, (c) CMWCNTs, and (d) SWCNTs

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Fig. 6

(a) Mean COFs and (b) mean wear volumes of lower steel disks lubricated by as-prepared greases at various frequencies (load: 200 N, stroke: 5 mm, and duration: 30 mins)

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Fig. 7

SEM images of the wear scars of lower steel disks lubricated by ((a) and (a′)) base grease, ((b) and (b′)) CB-doped grease, ((c) and (c′)) MWCNTs-doped grease, ((d) and (d′)) CMWCNTs-doped grease, and ((e) and (e′)) SWCNTs-doped grease (load: 200 N, stroke: 5 mm, and duration: 30 mins)

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Fig. 3

Distribution and action mechanism of CB nanoparticles and CNTs in conductive grease

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Fig. 2

Conductivities of (a) NFs and (b) conductive greases

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