The Lubrication of Metals and Ceramics by the Catalytic Formation of Carbon Films 870022
The wear process in bearings generates a clean active surface. Carbon is known to form readily on catalytic surfaces through the reduction of carbon monoxide or hydrocarbons. Carbon, through the adsorption of hydrocarbons, water vapor, or oxygen, becomes an effective lubricant. If these three phenomena can be made to work together, a new concept of high temperature lubrication would be available for combustion engines.
This paper covers initial laboratory investigations towards the development of this concept. Carbon has been successfully produced through catalytic reduction of ethylene on a variety of metallic and ceramic surfaces containing nickel. This carbon has been shown to reduce friction at a sliding interface.