Could graphene lubricants replace oil? “One area of research I have seen grow from concept to an almost commercially viable reality over the last few years is the use of graphene and carbon nanodiamonds as a solid-state lubricant” says Liam Critchley.
“Graphene has been touted for many applications, from construction to electronics, textiles, sports equipment, and many more in between. Graphene is starting to emerge in many industrial sectors as an alternative to the status quo and has started to be used in commercial products. One area that has emerged in the last few years is the use of graphene as a lubricant.
When people often think of lubricants, they think of a fluid that is present in their cars or within heavy machinery. While most of the lubricants in use today are a type of fluid, there is another class known as solid-state lubricants where solid materials have lubricating properties.
Graphene as a class of materials is very versatile as there are many different types, and they have a wide range of useful properties. While many people focus on the conductive properties for electronics or their mechanical strength in structural materials, many have overlooked the range of properties that have enabled graphene to be used as solid lubricant.
So, will solid graphene lubricants replace conventional oils? No-one can say yes or no with absolute certainty, but there is potential for graphene lubricants, as significant progress has been made in the last few years.
Could graphene lubricants be a replacement for conventional oil and fluid lubricants in specific applications? Yes. Will graphene lubricants replace oils in every single application? No. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are that the properties of graphene lubricants are not suitable for some lubricant applications, and even if they were, their cost would be far too high compared to conventional fluid lubricants. However, they do have the potential to replace oils in specific sectors—with examples in recent years being in the protection of ball bearings and wind turbines.”
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Source: Liam Critchley / Azano Nano Note: Source was updated.