Recovery Act - Scale-up of Production of Active Nanoparticles-Based Novel Lubricant Additives to Improve Energy Efficiency and Durability

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanomech, LLC
535 W Research Blvd, Suite 135, M/S 100
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Friction is one of the major reasons for failure of vital engineering components in systems such as pin-joints, engines, power generators, undercarriages in mining equipment, gears in wind turbines, parts used in aerospace systems, bearings, camshafts, pumps, etc. In most industrialized nations (including US), the annual cost of friction- and wear-related energy and material losses is estimated to be 5 to 7 % of their gross national products. Also, in addition to equipment failure, tribological issues cause excess energy consumption at impacting surfaces due to excessive friction and accelerated wear, caused by abrasive debris as a result of wear leading to reduced energy efficiency. For example, total frictional losses in a typical diesel engine may alone account for more than 10% of the total fuel energy (depending on the engine size, driving condition, etc.). Thus, addressing such critical lubrication demand is one of the Grand Challenges for efficient and durable operation of advanced engineered mechanical systems. The objective of this Phase I SBIR is to scale-up synthesis of advanced lubricant additives using novel active nanostructures of inorganic layered solid lubricant integrated with organic molecules from laboratory bench to semi-industrial production. Active nanoparticles-based lubricant additives consist of layered, pressure sensitive, inorganic nanoparticles of molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) integrated with metaloorganic chemistry of additional lubrication components. These additives provide advanced lubrication in the following ways: (1) by supplying nanosized lubricating agents which reduce friction and wear at the intricate asperity-to- asperity contact zone, (2) by enabling strong tendency to adsorb uniformly on the surfaces and by offering easy wetting, (3) by reacting with the surface, so that durable lubricating