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Synthesis, characterisation and tribological evaluation of surface-capped molybdenum sulphide nanoparticles as efficient antiwear bio-based lubricant additives

Sharul Hafiq Roslan (Nanotechnology & Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT), Institute of Graduate Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Sharifah Bee Abd Hamid (Nanotechnology & Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT), Institute of Graduate Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Nurin Wahidah Mohd Zulkifli (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology

ISSN: 0036-8792

Publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to synthesise and characterise surface-capped molybdenum sulphide (SCMS) nanoparticles using the solvothermal method and to investigate their tribological behaviour towards friction improver and wear reduction for bio-based lubricant oil additives.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the experiment was to use freshly prepared molybdenum (II) acetate, thioacetamide, fatty acid and hexane as the solvent inside an autoclave vessel which is heated at high temperature and pressure. Various types of fatty acids were used as the capping agent, such as caproic, lauric, stearic and oleic acid. The SCMS nanoparticles formed were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, field emission scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and thermal gravimetric analysis. These nanoadditives were then blended into pentaerythrityl tetracaprylate/caprate ester at 0.05 Wt.% concentration. The formulated bio-based lubricant oil samples were tested for viscosity, viscosity index (VI) and density based on standard method ASTM D445 and ASTM D2270. A four-ball test was carried out for determination of coefficient of friction and wear scar diameter. The wear scar formed on the surface of the ball bearing was analysed using scanning electron microscopy.

Findings

The characterisation results showed that SCMS nanoparticles were successfully formed with amorphous ball-like structure, and the presence of the capping layer surrounding the nanoparticles was confirmed. Then, the formulated bio-based lubricant oil with addition of nanoadditives displays improved tribological properties in term of VI, antifriction and wear reduction.

Originality/value

This research provides a synthesis method of producing SCMS nanoparticles using the organomolybdenum complex as the chemical precursor through the solvothermal reaction approach. Besides that, it also gives an alternative antifriction and antiwear nanoadditive for formulation of the bio-based lubricant oil.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the University of Malaya, which made this study possible through the research grant FP063-2015A and Postgraduate Research Grant (PG269-2015B), as well as the Ministry of Education Malaysia through MyBrain15 scholarship. The authors also thankfully acknowledge contributions from the members of the Centre for Energy Science (CFES) and Nanotechnology and Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT) research groups.

Citation

Roslan, S.H., Abd Hamid, S.B. and Mohd Zulkifli, N.W. (2017), "Synthesis, characterisation and tribological evaluation of surface-capped molybdenum sulphide nanoparticles as efficient antiwear bio-based lubricant additives", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 69 No. 3, pp. 378-386. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILT-09-2016-0212

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited