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Research project: The impact of Friction Modifiers on ZDDP engine oil tribofilms

Currently Active: 

Modern oil lubricants contain many types of additives, but the most influential on the tribological performance of the lubricant are friction modifiers and antiwear additives (e.g. ZDDP). Because they interact simultaneously with the wear track to generate tribofilms, a careful section is recommended according to the application-specific requirements.

Project Overview

Influence of lubricant composition on tribofilm growth with rubbing time using MTM2-SLIM
Fig 1

Friction modifiers and antiwear additives have been found to competitively react/adsorb on the rubbing ferrous substrates in a tribological contact. The formation and removal (through wear) of tribofilms are dynamic processes which result from the simultaneous interaction of these two additives with the surface of the wear track.

An understanding of the chemical interactions of additives with the wear track is required to achieve optimal results when formulating lubricant blends.

Associated research themes

Materials and surface engineering

Related research groups

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)


Key Publication


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