This study evaluates the tribological performance of nanolubricants of a vegetable oil (sunflower oil) reinforced with different concentrations of environmentally-friendly nanoparticles of halloysite clay nanotubes (HNTs). Tribological characterization was performed under different conditions to determine its effect on the nanolubricants’ performance and optimal HNT concentration. The tribological performances under low and high contact pressures were analyzed with a block-on-ring tribometer following the ASTM G-077-05 standard procedure. The extreme pressure (EP) properties of the nanolubricants were determined with a T-02 four-ball tribotester according to the ITeE-PIB Polish method for testing lubricants under scuffing conditions. In addition, the lubrication performance of the newly-developed vegetable oil-based nanolubricants was evaluated in an industrial-type application through a tapping torque test. The results indicated that at a low contact pressure 1.5 wt.% HNTs/sunflower oil provided the best tribological behavior by decreasing the coefficient of friction (COF) and wear volume loss by 29 and 70%, respectively. For high contact pressures, 0.05 wt.% HNTs lowered COF and wear by 55% and 56%, respectively. The load-carrying capacity increased by 141% with 0.10 wt.% HNTs compared to the sunflower oil. A high tapping torque efficiency was obtained with HNTs that can prolong tool life in the machining process. Therefore, this study suggests that HNTs/sunflower oil could be used as green lubricants for industrial applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Universidad de Monterrey Grant 20034/2021, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
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