Enhancement of tribological properties of greases for circuit breakers

Brenda Castaños, Cecilia Fernández, Laura Peña-Parás*, Demófilo Maldonado-Cortés, Juan Rodríguez-Salinas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Greases are essential in the electrical industry for the purpose of minimizing wear and coefficient of friction (COF) between the components of circuit breakers. Nowadays some researchers have explored the addition of nanoparticles to enhance their tribological properties. In this study, tribological tests were performed on different greases employed for the electrical industry. CuO and ZnO nanoparticles were homogeneously dispersed into the greases, varying their concentration (0.01 wt.%, 0.05 wt.%, and 0.10 wt.%). A four-ball tribotest, according to ASTM D-2266, and a ball-on-disk tribotest, according to ASTM G-99, were performed in order to analyze the wear scar diameter (WSD), COF, wear mass loss and worn area. The worn materials were characterized with an optical 3D profilometer measurement system. Anti-wear properties were enhanced up to 29.30% for the lithium complex grease (LG) with no nanoparticles added, in comparison with the aluminum complex grease (AG), providing a much better tribological performance; in the ball-on-disk tribotests, a 72.80% and a 15.74% reduction in the mass loss and COF were achieved, respectively. The addition of nanoparticles was found to provide improvements of 5.31% in WSD for the AG grease and 34.49% in COF for the LG grease. A pilot test was performed following the security test UL489, achieving a reduction of 45.17% in the worn area achieved by LG grease compared to AG grease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Materials Research Congress XXVII
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameMRS Advances
PublisherMaterials Research Society
ISSN (Print)2059-8521

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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