Dry Solid Lubricant with Significant (~90%) Friction and Wear Reduction

Interdisciplinary Areas: Power, Energy, and the Environment

Project Description

Dry lubricants (or solid lubricants) are solid phase materials capable to reduce friction between two sliding surfaces without the need for a liquid oil medium. The two known dry lubricants are molybdenum disulfide and graphite powders being used in the transportation, industrial, electric and electronics applications. At Purdue University, a novel tertiary graphene-zinc oxide-polymer composite film is developed as a solid-state lubricant for friction and wear reduction under extreme load conditions for the first time. The liquid-free composite is made from a slurry of graphene, zinc oxide powder and polyvinylidene difluoride that is spin-coated onto a stainless steel substrate. Significantly, enhanced tribological performance was measured under ambient conditions using a ball-on-disk tribometer with contact pressures up to 1.02 GPa and sliding distances up to 450 m. The graphene-rich lubricant demonstrates substantial friction and wear reduction (ca. 90 %) compared to unlubricated sliding. The composite film is able to maintain its lubricating effects under extreme operating conditions including 15 N normal load and 450 m sliding distance. The durability and resilience of this adhesive coating suggest exceptional potential as a dry lubricant for high load-bearing applications. This technology attracted wide industrial interest including TIMKEN, and The Boeing Company.

Start Date

June 1, 2019

Postdoc Qualifications

Promising candidates shall have Ph.D. in mechanical engineering / materials science / chemical engineering with solid research background in tribology, materials chemistry and processing, materials characterizations and tribology characterizations.  


Vilas G. Pol (ChE)

Farshid Sadeghi (ME)


1. V. G. Pol, F. Sadeghi, A. Dysart, A. Alazemi, V. Etacheri, Lubricants comprising carbon particles and methods of making the same. US patent application 20160289586

2. A. A. Alazemi, A. D. Dysart, S. J. Shaffer, V. G. Pol, L-E. Stacke, F. Sadeghi, “Novel Tertiary Dry Solid Lubricant on Steel Surfaces Reduces Significant Friction and Wear under High Load Conditions” Carbon, 2017, 123, 7-17

3. A. A. Alazemi, A. D. Dysart G, X. L. Phuah, V. G. Pol, F. Sadeghi, “MoS2 Nanolayer Coated Carbon Spheres as an Oil Additive for Enhanced Tribological Performance”, Carbon, 2016, 110, 367-377.

4. A. A. Alazemi, V. Etacheri, A. D. Dysart, L-E Stacke, V. G. Pol, F. Sadeghi, “Ultrasmooth Submicron Carbon Spheres as Lubricant Additives for Friction and Wear Reduction,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7, 5514-5521.

5. K. K. Mistry, V. G. Pol, A. Erdemir, M.M. Thackeray, “Synthesis, Tribological Performance and Tribochemistry of Carbon Sphere Based Colloidal Lubricants,” Tribology Transactions, 2015, 58, 474–480.