Superlubricity - formally defined as the reduction of friction between two surfaces to almost zero - has, until recently, been measured on a nano scale; almost the smallest physical measurement possible. However, new research has elevated the phenomenon to micro level after observations by Australian and Chinese researchers.
The measurements, made using graphite, examine the alignment of graphite crystals under friction conditions. The Chinese team, using pyrolitic graphite, were able to observe 'superlubricity' under ambient conditions using an electron microscope. Until the latest research was revealed, 'superlubricity' was only observed on a nanoscale under vacuum conditions.
The implications of the findings could offer significant practial assistance to lubes producers in making 'superlubricity' more easy to reproduce, particularly in lubes created for micro and nano machinery.
Published 6th April, 2012
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