Interactions between Friction Modifiers and Dispersants in Lubricants: The Case of Glycerol Monooleate and Polyisobutylsuccinimide-Polyamine

G Tsagkaropoulou and CP Warrens and PJ Camp, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 11, 28359-28369 (2019).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b05718

The structural and frictional properties of 10 wt % solutions of the amphiphilic molecules glycerol monooleate (GMO) and polyisobutylsuccinimide-polyamine (PIBSA-PAM) in squalane are studied using molecular dynamics simulations in bulk and under confinement between iron oxide surfaces. GMO is a friction modifier, PIBSA-PAM is a dispersant, and squalane is a good model for typical base oils. A range of liquid compositions and applied pressures is explored, and the formation and stability of reverse micelles are determined under quiescent and shear conditions. Micellization is observed mainly in systems with a high GMO content, but PIBSA-PAM may also form small aggregates on its own. In the confined systems under both static and shear conditions, some surfactant molecules adsorb onto the surfaces, with the rest of the molecules forming micelles or aggregates. Shearing the liquid layer under high pressure causes almost all of the micelles and aggregates to break, except in systems with around 7.5 wt % GMO and 2.5 wt % PIBSA-PAM. The presence of micelles and adsorbed surfactants is found to be correlated with a low kinetic friction coefficient, and hence, there is an optimum composition range for friction reduction. This work highlights the importance of cooperative interactions between lubricant additives.

Return to Publications page