Steric Effects on Tribochemical Reactivity in Detergent-Containing Lubricants under Nanoconfinement
Modern formulation in a wide variety of lubricants including engine oils and transmission fluids is designed to control friction through film-forming tribochemical reactions induced by the functional additives mixtures. Although many cases on the synergistic or antagonistic effects of additives on friction have been reported, their mechanisms are poorly understood. This study focused on the influences of metallic detergents on tribochemical reactions. We examined the mechanical properties of detergent-containing lubricants confined at a single-asperity contact and their contributions to tribochemical phenomena. We found that detergents enlarged the confinement space required for generating repulsive force and shear resistance. This means that these detergents provide steric effects under nanoconfinement at interfacial contacts.