A modern lubricant contains various additives with different functionalities and the interactions or reactions between these additives could induce synergistic or antagonistic effects in tribological performance. In this study, sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy was used to investigate competitive adsorption of lubricant additives at a solid/base oil interface. A silica substrate was used as a model solid surface. The lubricant additives studied here included two oil-soluble ionic liquids (ILs, [N888H][DEHP] and [P8888][DEHP]), an antiwear additive (secondary ZDDP), an organic friction modifier (OFM), and a dispersant (PIBSI). Our results showed that for mixtures of ZDDP and IL in a base oil (PAO4), the silica surface is dominated by the IL molecules. In the cases of base oils containing OFM and IL, the silica/lubricant interface is dominated by OFM over [N888H][DEHP], while it is preferentially occupied by [P8888][DEHP] over OFM. The presence of PIBSI in the mixture of PAO4 and IL leads to the formation of a mixed surface layer at the silica surface with PIBSI as a major component. The SFG results in this investigation provide fundamental insights that are helpful to design the formulation of new lubricant additives of desired properties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanical Engineering
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films