Recent advances in two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as graphene and other 2D materials opens up the real possibility of creating atomically thin solid lubricants. “Superlubricity offers solutions to lubrication challenges faced in various nanotechnologies including biomedical engineering, water transport, AFM, MEMS/NEMS, wind energy and aerospace applications.”

“Friction is the name given to the force that resists the initiation of sliding motion between two surfaces; it is all around us and it occurs at all length scales. In simple terms: friction is a force that slows things down.
 
The reduction of friction is particularly critical for energy conservation where friction directly translates in a loss of efficiency and therefor higher use of energy for a particular task. About 1/3 of the world’s primary energy is dissipated in mechanical friction and 80% of machinery components’ failure is caused by wear. Friction and wear are also bottlenecks for micro-/nano-mechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) featured with sliding components.
 
In Nature, there are no completely frictionless environments: even in deep space, tiny particles may interact and cause friction. Friction processes can be observed on all scales and dimensions.
 
However, there is a very special case where friction almost vanishes between two surfaces. This is a phenomenon, known as superlubricity, in which surfaces simply slide over each other with barely any resistance (a state that is called near-zero friction).”
 
The difficulty of achieving superlubricity in mechanical systems is due to the very complex physical, chemical, and mechanical interactions that occur simultaneously at the sliding interfaces of these systems.
 
Achieving near-zero friction in commercial and industrial applications will be game-changing from tiny microelectromechanical systems that will never wear out, to oil-free bearings in industrial equipment, to much more efficient engines and giant wind turbines scavenging energy even in low wind conditions.”

 
Read full article Superlubricity and nanotechnology

Source: Nano Werk

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