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Why is Molybdenum Disulfide the First Choice among Industrial Lubricants?

Industrial lubricants can be seen as one of the main factors for increasing the lifespan of a component. They are used to protect machinery from excessive friction, reduce energy loss, and enhance a machine’s overall performance. There are various types of dry and synthetic lubricants being used in industries today. One of the most well-known lubricants is molybdenum disulfide.

Molybdenum disulfide is a dry, solid film lubricant. Also known as MoS2, it can be used in applications where there are extreme changes in temperature, with great weight loads and high speeds. It has the ability to maintain its basic structure and strength while reducing considerable friction within the machine. When combined with resins or binders, it has the capability to protect a component from corrosion.

Factors that add to the importance of Molybdenum Disulfide as an Industrial Lubricant

As a lubricant, Mos2 possesses various properties and qualities that makes it a first choice for industries:

  • Physical Properties of MoS2: The structure of MoS2 comprises hexagonal crystals, which is associated with Van der Waal’s forces. Its structure is the main element that provides low friction capabilities and easier metal application. The physical properties of molybdenum disulfide comprise blue gray or black colors, low electrical conductivity, and good radiation stability. It has the capability to withstand temperatures of up to just above 1200oC (in vacuum).
  • Oxidation Behavior of Molybdenum Disulfide: As MoS2 is a dry lubricant, it has excellent resistance against thermal oxidation. One will generally find that oxidation takes place at a low rate below 300oC. While the strength of MoS2 does reduce to a small extent beyond 300oC, it can still provide a good amount of protection and lubrication in an industrial application.
  • Strength Qualities: Molybdenum disulfide Lubricant is usually the lubricant of choice for use in adverse environments. One reason is that it provides lubrication even when oxidation takes place. The second reason is MoS2 reduces a metal’s susceptibility to deterioration. This is accomplished by ensuring that large particles of the lubricant are applied onto the metal, increasing the metal’s ability to take on heavy loads. For this reason, molybdenum disulfide is used for heavy load bearing applications with over 250,000 pounds per square inch.
  • Advantage as an Additive: MoS2 can also be used as an additive to a variety of other lubricant types. One of the most popular lubricants used along with MoS2 is grease. The combination of MoS2 and grease provides flexibility for critical parameters like speed, roughness, and weight loads. For this reason, grease containing MoS2 is popular for reducing wear and tear of components in transportation vehicles, construction equipment, and agricultural vehicles, as well as military and mining applications.Fluid lubricants can also benefit from an addition of MoS2. Extremely viscous liquids mixed with MoS2 are frequently used for lubricating different types of industrial and commercial gears such as hypoid gears, helical gears, and speed reducers. Fluid lubricants combined with MoS2 are extensively used by automotive companies for gear testing processes.
  • Cohesive Solid Film Lubricant: As a solid film lubricant, molybdenum disulfide can be firmly bonded to a metal component using different methods. The four most common methods are:
    1. Burnishing or rubbing
    2. Impingement with a binder
    3. Adding MoS2 lubricant to a paint-like substance
    4. Physical vapor deposition

The strength, durability, and flexibility of molybdenum disulfide makes it an important lubricant for industrial applications.

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