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Mechanisms of interactions in nano-scale of novel ionic lubricants with functional surfaces (MINILUBES)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Recently, ionic liquids (IL) are employed as substitute for traditional solvents in catalysis, synthesis and electrochemistry. But little research work or actual applications have been published until now concerning the utilization of IL as lubricants. Generally, IL show no or very low vapour pressures, satisfying viscosity-temperature behaviour, no inflammability and high thermal stabilities up to 250°C. The choice of cation and anion as well as the design of side chains determine fundamental IL properties. These properties desirable for lubricants and the possibility to create tailor-made compounds give rise to the demand of in-depth investigations of IL in tribology. To our best knowledge, the project will be the first extensive and integral approach of IL towards potential future applications as lubricants for metals, ceramics and polymers as well as base for wear and friction reducing nanoparticles. The investigations will involve molecular design and synthesis of new IL as well as preparation of advanced materials containing or based on IL. Evaluation of lubricant and material performance will range from determination of physico-chemical properties including artificial aging of IL and mechanical testing (e.g. tensile and impact strength) to tribometrical experiments. Wear and friction properties will be completed by thorough surface characterization, in particular towards tribochemical reaction layers. Parameters gained from these experiments will be used for modelling of triboprocesses in nanoscale and for molecular design of new ionic lubricants. Studies on biodegradability, toxicology and economical aspects will be studied in detail, too, to verify legal requirements and opportunities for highly potential applications. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary and intersectorial approach is the generation of unique and comprehensive knowledge about IL on a sustainable basis for future implementations as high performance lubricants.
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