ApNano Materials, Inc., a provider of nanotechnology-based products, today announced that recent tests conducted at its customers labs have shown that when added to a regular oil, NanoLub, the world’s first nanotechnology-based solid lubricant, continues normal lubrication of machines and engines in severe oil loss conditions. According to the tests, engines and machinery can work for about 7 times longer after severe oil loss when the NanoLub formulation was used compared with the base oil.
NanoLub is made up of particles of tungsten disulfide (WS2) that have a structure of nested spheres, called inorganic fullerenes, which lubricate mainly by rolling like miniature ball bearings. When used as an additive to liquid oil or grease, NanoLub significantly enhances the lubricating properties of the oil or grease with respect to wear and friction by an order of magnitude versus the same lubricant without this additive. In addition, NanoLub “wraps” the moving parts with a lubricating thin film -called a tribofilm - and continues to lubricate normally for a long time, as an “uninterruptable lubrication source” during severe oil leakages.
Recent independent tests by Dr. Adrian Oila of Newcastle University in England were done on gears with heavy duty gear oil that was blended with NanoLub powder. No wear damage to the steel lubricated with the NanoLub oil could be observed with an optical microscope, while significant wear was observed for the reference oil. The presence of a beneficial tribofilm was detected on the gears lubricated with the NanoLub formulation. This follows on from work done at the University of Stockholm by Prof. Stefan Csillag and his team showing the presence, via advanced analytical techniques, of a tribofilm which was found to be only a few atomic layers thick.
“This feature of lubrication continuity in oil loss conditions not only prevents damage to machines and engines, but has important safety implications in critical systems, such as airborne platforms,” said Dr. Menachem Genut, President and CEO of ApNano Materials. “For instance it would allow a helicopter to land safely even if its engine loses oil.” Dr. Genut was a research fellow in the original research group which discovered the inorganic fullerene nanoparticles at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and first to synthesize the new material. The group was led by Professor Reshef Tenne, currently the Director of Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Nanoscale Science at the Weizmann Institute.
“NanoLub has been shown in numerous independent tests worldwide to reduce friction and wear significantly better than conventional lubricants, especially under extreme conditions such as very high loads” said Aharon Feuerstein, ApNano Materials' Chairman and CFO.
ApNano Materials manufactures the nanospheres at its 1,000 square meter production facility in Israel. This is one of the few manufacturing plants producing commercial quantities of special nano-powders. The new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility meets international guidelines for health, safety and manufacturing of nanomaterials.
"NanoLub was found to be non-toxic in a variety of tests performed by accredited independent testing laboratories, certified to be in complete compliance with international standards of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development)," said. Dr. Niles Fleischer VP of Business and Product Development of ApNano Materials "The acute toxicity testing was done in full accordance with European Commission directives for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)."
The superlubricity of the NanoLub particles has been discovered by the group of Professor J. M. Martin of Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France. Their experiments demonstrated that when NanoLub was used as an additive to oil, it caused a very low friction coefficient and low wear. From the characterization performed after friction, several phenomena have been proposed to explain these friction reducing properties: NanoLub’s fullerenes delamination, formation of tribofilm made of WS2 sheets on the surfaces, superlubricity of the sheets and a rolling/sliding effect of the particles. According to the conclusions of the work of the French group a combination of all these effects can explain the excellent tribological (friction and wear reduction) properties of NanoLub.