UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Cellulose nanocrystals aqueous suspensions as water-based lubricants Shariatzadeh, MohammadJavad


Lubrication is an effective means of controlling wear and reducing friction. Friction and wear are the major cause of material wastage and loss of mechanical performance. To reduce the friction, most of the mechanical devices are lubricated by oils or in some cases by water. To enhance the properties of lubricants a chemical component or blend is added to improve their performance. In this research, we have used Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNC) as additives in water-based lubricants. CNC is synthesized from native cellulose which is one of the most abundant biopolymer resource available. It has many advantages such as renewable, biodegradable and non-toxic. Tribological tests were performed on a pin on cylinder tribometer to investigate the application of CNC as water-based lubricants additives. The coefficient of friction and wear between a stainless-steel shaft and a chrome steel ball were measured in the presence of the CNC lubricant with different concentrations. One of the applications were water is used as a lubricant is in gland sealed slurry pumps. Gland seals prevent pumped fluid from leaking into the environment. The gland seal packing material is tested with CNC lubricant to study the behavior of the new lubricant as a possible alternative of water in industrial applications. Effect of normal force, rotational speed and shaft diameter on the coefficient of friction and wear were studied as well. It was found that adding 2 wt.% of CNC in water improved lubrication and provided a very low friction coefficient of approximately 0.09. It reduces the wear depth and width by more than 50%. The improvement of the coefficient of friction and wear is mainly due to the high strength of CNC rods and alignment of CNC nanoparticles.

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