Category: MTM

Friction-Enhancing Properties of ZDDP Antiwear Additive: Part I—Friction and Morphology of ZDDP Reaction Films

Many phosphorus-based antiwear films, including those formed by zinc dialkyl dithiphosphates (ZDDP), cause a significant increase in friction in thin film, high-pressure, lubricated contacts. This can have a deleterious effect on engine oil fuel efficiency. Previous work has shown that friction is increased not under boundary, but under mixed lubrication conditions and it has been suggested that this phenomenon results from an effective roughening of the rubbing surfaces by the formation of unevenly-distributed reaction films.

In the current paper it is shown that, when other additives commonly used in engine oils are added to ZDDP solutions, quite smooth ZDDP reaction films can result. Despite this, the ZDDP still produces a marked increase in friction in mixed lubrication conditions, which suggests that surface roughening is not the main origin of friction enhancement by ZDDP reaction films. In a companion paper, Part II, it is shown that ZDDP reaction films, whether rough or smooth, enhance friction by inhibiting the entrainment of liquid lubricant into rubbing contacts, thereby reducing the elastohydrodynamic oil film thickness (13)