An Overview of Tungsten Disulfide Low Friction Coatings

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December 21, 2016
An Introduction to Low Friction Coatings
January 10, 2017

Every machine or equipment is prone to friction in its operational life. Friction affects in two ways: it improves performance when applied in the right amount, and causes wear and tear when exceeds beyond acceptable limits. Friction between two parts increases in extreme environments comprising high temperature and pressure. There are certain lubricants that help reduce friction on machine parts, and maintain the optimum performance of machine parts in such environments. These lubricants are known as low friction coatings. Tungsten Disulfide is one such low friction coating, which helps reduce friction between moving parts, and contributes to better service life of the equipment.

Every machine or equipment is prone to friction in its operational life. Friction affects in two ways: it improves performance when applied in the right amount, and causes wear and tear when exceeds beyond acceptable limits. Friction between two parts increases in extreme environments comprising high temperature and pressure. There are certain lubricants that help reduce friction on machine parts, and maintain the optimum performance of machine parts in such environments. These lubricants are known as low friction coatings. Tungsten Disulfide is one such low friction coating, which helps reduce friction between moving parts, and contributes to better service life of the equipment. Here, we will discuss general benefits, special combinations, and applications of this coating material.

Benefits of Tungsten Disulfide Low Friction Coatings

Tungsten Disulfide, abbreviated as WS2, is one of the popular dry film coatings due to the following reasons:

  • Low Coefficient of Friction: This coating exhibits a low coefficient of friction, which is 0.03 for dynamic, and 0.07 for static friction.
  • Helps Avoid Carbon Build-Up: The low coefficient of friction helps avoid carbon build up better than Teflon, graphite, and Molybdenum Disulfide (MOS2).
  • Ideal for Extreme Conditions: This dry film coating can withstand loads to 10,000 PSI (load capacity equal to the substrate), and has an operating temperature that ranges from -460°F to 1200°F.
  • Improves Service Life: The WS2 coating helps prevent seizing, galling, fretting or cold-welding of components or machine parts. This helps reduce maintenance problems, expensive part replacement, downtime, and other issues.
  • Compatible with Most Oils and Greases: WS2 is compatible with most oils and greases, and maintains a hydrodynamic layer.
  • Easy Application: The dry film coating is easy to apply and requires no heat curing, or bake out. It can be applied over metal parts easily without any chemical agent or binder. It will not peel, chip, or flake because it assimilates into the substrate easily.
  • Excellent Chemical Stability: WS2 is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and inert. It responds with most metal substrates. It cannot tolerate solvents, chlorinated solvents, and refined fuels.

Applications of Tungsten Disulfide Low Friction Coatings

The following applications make the best use of WS2 coatings:

  • Bearings
  • Cams and Cam Followers
  • Automotive Parts, Pistons, and Piston Cylinders
  • Power Transmission Items
  • Valve Components and Actuators
  • Bullet and Ammunition Components

The above mentioned special characteristics account for the popularity of Tungsten Disulfide as a dry film lubricant. You can always approach a lubricant supplier or engineer to understand the benefits of this lubricant on your application.

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-Brian Geranen, President