Green Tribology

Although representing the clearest examples of green industries, wind turbines and electric cars represent only a part of the rapid growth in, and variety of green industries. Using our instruments, tribologists around the world are helping to improve the efficiency and reliability needed to make these industries viable.

In renewable power, efficiency and reliability are key. Take wind power as an example and you find that the profit margins over the life of a turbine are narrow due to high setup costs, and the huge costs associated with maintenance, downtime, and repairs. Reliability is therefore key in ensuring wind power remains a viable power source for the future. Tribology plays a critical role in this as common failure mechanisms in wind turbines such as excess wear, micro and macro pitting, false brinelling and cracking can all be investigated using instruments from PCS.

Efficiency and reliability are just as important in other industries, such as the electric car market. Currently one of the hurdles facing the mass uptake of electric cars is their range and cost. One way to solve both these issues is improving efficiency, something currently being studied by tribologists around the world. Improving drivetrain efficiency would mean electric cars would need fewer batteries to go the same distance – thus cutting costs – or you could keep the same number of batteries but go further for the same cost.

PCS Instruments is giving tribologists the tools to develop new and improved fuels, lubricants, and additives, in turn helping to solve the multitude of problems green industries are facing, and ultimately fight climate change.

Green Tribology industry research areas include:

  • Marine specific lubricants that are safer for sea life
  • Biolubricants and fuels that are sustainable
  • Development of improved wind turbine gearbox oils
  • New grease designs for electric vehicles
  • Optimisation of lubricants for improved efficiency in systems

Green Tribology Industry includes the following:

Biolubricants

Biolubricants

Improving the performance of new, more environmentally friendly lubricants. Developing them to perform as well as, or better than traditional lubricants.

Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles

With governments pushing for more electric vehicles, this field of research is growing faster than ever and the new challenges it brings are being met head on, with tribology holding many of the answers.

Renewables

Renewables

One area of tribological research for renewables is their feel. As an often cited reason for why someone doesn't want to switch products, finding ways to develop new renewable products with the same feel is critical.

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines

Wind power remains one of the most rapidly growing renewable power sources, so the tribological problems found in the gearbox, bearings and generator are the focus of significant research.

Instruments for the Green Tribology Industry

Speak to us about our products

Get in touch

Green Tribology Industry Articles & Papers

Paper

Phosphonates from Lipids—Synthesis and Tribological Evaluation

There is a push toward using biobased lubricants due to their lower ecological impact. Unfortunately, despite some favorable properties, lipids …

There is a push toward using biobased lubricants due to their lower ecological impact. Unfortunately, despite some favorable properties, lipids have drawbacks, most notably oxidative stability and cold-flow properties, that hamper their use as high-quality lubricants. To overcome the drawbacks, researchers seek appropriate chemical modifications. In this chapter, we discuss hydrophosphonylation of lipids for obtaining better biobased lubricant – reaction chemistry, analysis, and tribological properties of the product. The synthesized lipid phosphonates, especially from di-n-butyl phosphite, have better oxidative stability, good cold flow properties, low compressibility (high bulk modulus), and low traction. While the viscosity index is worsened (lowered), it is still acceptable. The phosphonates also showed good wear reduction in a four-ball tester, when used as additive. These properties indicate that phosphonates from lipids have potential as biobased lubricants, and especially as hydraulic fluids.

View abstract

Paper

Micro- to Nano- and from Surface to Bulk: Influence of Halogen-Free Ionic Liquid Architecture and Dissociation on Green Oil Lubricity

Four nonhalogenated ionic liquids (ILs) based on the same phosphonium cation are investigated in terms of the anion suitability for …

Four nonhalogenated ionic liquids (ILs) based on the same phosphonium cation are investigated in terms of the anion suitability for enhancing the lubricity of a biodegradable oil. For all test conditions, typical for industrial machine components, the lubrication is shown to be governed by nonsacrificial films formed by the physisorption of ionic species on the tribo-surfaces. The anionic structure appears to have an important role in the formation of friction modifying films. The orthoborate ILs exhibit the formation of robust ionic boundary films, resulting in reduced friction and better wear protection. On the contrary, the surface adsorption of phosphinate and phosphate ILs appears to antagonistically disrupt the intrinsic lubrication properties of the biodegradable oil, resulting in high friction and wear. Through additional investigations, it is postulated that the higher dissociation of orthoborate ILs in the biodegradable oil allows the formation of hierarchical and electrostatically overscreened layer structures with long-range order, whereas the ILs with phosphate and phosphinate anions exhibit low dissociation in biodegradable oil, possibly due to the ion pairs being surrounded by a hydrocarbon halo, which presumably results in weak adsorption to form a mixed interfacial layer with no long-range order.

View abstract