MESA+ University of Twente
Inorganic Materials Science Group

Soft-ceramics and lubrication

Many industrial processes use lubrication for increasing the life of the tools and improving the performances of the products. One example of this is the hot forging of steel. This process uses solid lubricant based in graphite suspensions.

However, some problems are related to the use of graphite. Alternatives are necessary, and nowadays they consist in salts of organic polymers, with similar lubricious properties but less chemical and thermal stability.

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Figure 1. Forged PIECE (Henkel BV) and crystallographic structure of graphite

For substituting the graphite, inorganic materials are the best candidates for their well-known stabilities in temperature and against corrosive agents. A new class of soft ceramics is developed in this project.

This assignment addresses the synthesis of fine-tuned soft-ceramics assisted by wet chemistry, microwave and solid state reactions. All the products will be characterized by available techniques such Infrared Spectroscopy (IR), Electron Microscopy (SEM-TEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Thermogravimetry (TGA-DSC). The best products will be tested in a pin-on-disc tester for knowing the lubricious properties.

For further information, contact Pablo Gonzalez (p.gonzalezrodriguez@utwente.nl)