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The Indirect Tribological Role of Carbon Nanotubes Stimulating Zinc Dithiophosphate Anti-Wear Film Formation


[ 1 ] Instytut Silników Spalinowych i Napędów, Wydział Inżynierii Lądowej i Transportu, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 2 ] Instytut Inżynierii Materiałowej, Wydział Inżynierii Materiałowej i Fizyki Technicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 3 ] Instytut Technologii Mechanicznej, Wydział Inżynierii Mechanicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 4 ] Instytut Badań Materiałowych i Inżynierii Kwantowej, Wydział Inżynierii Materiałowej i Fizyki Technicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 5 ] Instytut Fizyki, Wydział Inżynierii Materiałowej i Fizyki Technicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee | [ D ] phd student

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.7] Civil engineering and transport
[2.8] Materials engineering
[2.9] Mechanical engineering

Year of publication


Published in


Journal year: 2020 | Journal volume: vol. 10 | Journal number: iss. 7

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • carbon nanotubes
  • anti-wear
  • tribology

EN Experimental studies reveal that the simultaneous addition of zinc dialkyl dithiophosphates (ZDDPs) and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to a poly-alpha-olefin base oil strongly reduces wear. In this paper, it is shown that MWCNTs promote the formation of an anti-wear (AW) layer on the metal surface that is much thicker than what ZDDPs can create as a sole additive. More importantly, the nanotubes’ action is indirect, i.e., MWCNTs neither mechanically nor structurally strengthen the AW film. A new mechanism for this effect is also proposed, which is supported by detailed tribometer results, friction track 3D-topography measurements, electron diffraction spectroscopy (EDS), and Raman spectroscopy. In this mechanism, MWCNTs mediate the transfer of both thermal and electric energy released on the metal surface in the friction process. As a result, this energy penetrates more deeply into the oil volume, thus extending the spatial range of tribochemical reactions involving ZDDPs.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

1330-1 - 1330-13





Article Number: 1330

License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

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