Hybrid lubrication of PFPE Fluids and Sputtered MoS2

Buttery, Michael, Kent, A., Forster, D. and Vortsellas, A. (2018) Hybrid lubrication of PFPE Fluids and Sputtered MoS2. In: 44th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium, 16-18 May 2018, Cleveland, Ohio.

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We present an overview of the recent activities performed by the European Space Tribology Laboratory (ESTL) into the potential of hybrid lubrication of PFPE fluids (Fomblin Z25 & Braycote 601EF) and sputtered MoS2. Test campaigns were performed using a spiral orbit tribometer (SOT), pin-on-disc tribometer (PoD), and at spur-gear level.
Results demonstrated mixed behavior of hybrid lubrication. In the best case the lifetime is extended beyond that predicted by the individual constituent lubricants, with no elevation in friction coefficient. In the worst case the application of a grease to the sputtered MoS2 appears to inhibit the favorable tribological behavior of the solid lubricant film, reducing the lifetime and elevating the friction/torque.
The degree of success of hybrid lubrication appears to be related to the physical properties of the applied fluid lubricant (film thickness, viscosity), rather than the tribo-chemical lifetime. A model is proposed by which this behavior occurs.
We gratefully acknowledge that this work was funded by the European Space Agency.

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