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Friction and wear are ubiquitous, from nano-electro-mechanical systems in biomedicine to large-scale integrated electric propulsion in aircraft carriers. Applications of nanomaterials as lubricating oil additives have achieved great advances, which are of great significance to control friction and wear. This review focuses on the applications of nanomaterials in lubricating oil and comprehensively compares their tribological characteristics as lubricating oil additives. Statistical analysis of tribology data is provided and discussed accordingly; moreover, the interaction between nanomaterials and sliding surface, lubricating oil, other additives, and synergistic lubrication in nanocomposites are systematically elaborated. Finally, suggestions for future research on nanomaterials as lubricating oil additives are proposed. Hence, this review will promote a better fundamental understanding of nanomaterials for lubricating oil application and help to achieve the superior design of nanoadditives with outstanding tribological performances.

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Nanomaterials for lubricating oil application: A review

Show Author's information Linlin DUANJian LIHaitao DUAN( )
State Key Laboratory of Special Surface Protection Materials and Application Technology, Wuhan Research Institute of Materials Protection, Wuhan 430030, China


Friction and wear are ubiquitous, from nano-electro-mechanical systems in biomedicine to large-scale integrated electric propulsion in aircraft carriers. Applications of nanomaterials as lubricating oil additives have achieved great advances, which are of great significance to control friction and wear. This review focuses on the applications of nanomaterials in lubricating oil and comprehensively compares their tribological characteristics as lubricating oil additives. Statistical analysis of tribology data is provided and discussed accordingly; moreover, the interaction between nanomaterials and sliding surface, lubricating oil, other additives, and synergistic lubrication in nanocomposites are systematically elaborated. Finally, suggestions for future research on nanomaterials as lubricating oil additives are proposed. Hence, this review will promote a better fundamental understanding of nanomaterials for lubricating oil application and help to achieve the superior design of nanoadditives with outstanding tribological performances.


nanomaterial, additive, friction modifier, lubrication, wear
Received: 18 March 2022 Revised: 11 May 2022 Accepted: 13 June 2022 Published: 06 January 2023 Issue date: May 2023
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Received: 18 March 2022
Revised: 11 May 2022
Accepted: 13 June 2022
Published: 06 January 2023
Issue date: May 2023


© The author(s) 2022.


This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2018YFB2000301) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51905385).

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