With the advent of nanotechnology, research into lubricants and lubricant additives has experienced a paradigm shift. Instead of traditional materials, new nanomaterials and nanoparticles have been recently under investigation as lubricants or lubricant additives because of their unusual properties. Now, there are numerous different types of nanomaterials with potentially interesting friction and wear properties described the literature. With increasing amount of possibilities, the key question is: what types of nanoparticles act as better lubricants and why? This article will discuss relevant issues to this topic.
For any machine to operate smoothly, some energy must be provided for the sole purpose of overcoming friction. Minimizing energy lost through friction increases the efficiency of machines. Recent studies have indicated that advances in tribology could lead to savings of approximately 11% of total annual energy loss in three major areas: power generation, transportation, and industrial processes. Therefore, in the context of energy efficiency, the significance of reducing friction cannot be overemphasized. This is especially true a soil reserves continue to dwindle and energy costs are rising relentlessly.