We present an exploratory study on a suspension of uniform carbon microspheres as a new class of aqueous-based lubricants. The surfactant-functionalized carbon microspheres (~0.1 wt %) employ a rolling mechanism similar to ball bearings to provide low friction coefficients (mu ~= 0.03) and minimize surface wear in shear experiments between various surfaces, even at high loads and high contact pressures. The size range, high monodispersity, and large yield stress of the C _microsphere, as well as the minimal environmental impact, are all desirable characteristics for the use of a C_microsphere-SDS suspension as an alternative to oil-based lubricants in compatible devices and machinery.
St.Dennis, J. E., K. Jin, V.T. John, N.S. Pesika
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces