Sol-Gel Derived,Nanostructured Oxide Lubricant Coatings

Period of Performance: 06/01/1997 - 05/30/1998


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Tpl, Inc.
3921 Academy Parkway North, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Southwest Research Institute
6220 Culebra Road, P.O. Drawer 28510
San Antonio, TX 78238
Institution POC

Research Topics


The reduction of friction and wear is essential to the proper operation of all modern machines. Gas turbine engines are approaching operating temperatures and speeds that exceed the capacity of current lubricant materials. Solid coatings that can provide lubrication from sub-ambient to 850¦C would allow exploitation of recent performance gains.TPL proposes innovative, multi-component solid lubricant coatings made via inexpensive sol-gel routes to solve the problem of high temperature wear. This wet chemical approach uses synthesis on the molecular level, which allows the ability to tailor the nanostructure of the coatings. Preliminary research on the compositions to provide wear resistance was performed at the Southwest Research Institute and will be incorporated into this program.TPL will demonstrate the feasibility of depositing coatings to reduce friction and wear by sol-gel methods. The compositions previously discovered for this application will be the starting point for composition/property optimization. The coefficient of friction, wear resistance and microstructure will be characterized to prove the proposed concept.TPL has extensive experience and resources in sol-gel technology, and is capable of performing the proposed research. The P.I. is a pioneering researcher in multi-component sol-gel processing, firing techniques and characterization.