High Temperature Ionic Liquid Lubricant for Advanced Aircraft Turbine Engines

Period of Performance: 09/07/2004 - 06/07/2005


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Foster-miller, Inc.
350 Second Ave.
Waltham, MA 02451
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Notre Dame
940 Grace Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Institution POC


The turbine engines and vertical lift systems of advanced military aircraft will require lubricants that function reliably between -40,aF to +625 ,aF for >4000 hrs. Current aircraft lubricants can only be used to +300 ,aF. The Foster-Miller STTR team proposes to develop a high temperature ionic liquid lubricant (HTILL) that provides exceptional lubrication and wear performance between -40,aF to +625 ,aF for prolonged periods without degradation. During operation at elevated temperatures, the HTILL forms thin, adherent, durable and stable surface boundary layers that maintain low friction and wear, even at +625,aF and in vacuum environments. The HTILL is a non-flammable, low vapor pressure, thermal-oxidatively stable liquid that maintains viscosity and resists degradation between -40,aF and +625 ,aF. The HTILL enables facile movement of the engines and lift system over their entire operating temperature range. In Phase I, we will apply modeling to identify the most promising HTILL molecular structures, synthesize selected candidates and evaluate HTILL candidates with respect to volatility, thermal-oxidative stability, lubrication and wear properties against steel at ambient and +625,aF. Our team includes experts in modeling, ionic liquids, chemical synthesis, tribology, high temperature lubricants, and aircraft and engine manufacturers. (P-040321)