Solid-film lubricants (SFL) are thin films of resins which bind lubricating powders such as MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide), graphite or fluorocarbon to a surface. These lubricants prevent surface-to-surface contact, reducing friction and wear between mating surfaces. The lubricant actually becomes a protective layer between the two surfaces. SFL coatings are effective in applications where conventional wet lubricants provide insufficient protection from high temperatures, extreme loads, wear or corrosion. Users benefit from the versatility of these coatings that are effective in:
- Extending wear life
- Lowering coefficient of friction
- Preventing galling, fretting and seizing
- Withstanding extreme temperatures
- Providing corrosion resistance
- Providing high performance lubrication
Each lubricant powder has different properties. An example is MoS2, which in combination with graphite results in superior lubrication. MoS2 alone offers better corrosion resistance. Graphite alone, although rarely used in this state, results in better electric conductivity and functions better under radiation. Most of these films are only 0.0002" to 0.0005".
Solid Film Lubricant offers advantages over:
Greases and Oils
- Withstands extreme temperature range
- Bonds to the substrate surface
- Contaminant Free
- Requires no maintenance
- Provides increased chemical resistance
- Provides greater corrosion protection (300-1500 NSS)
- Provides barrier protection
- No hyrdrogen embrittlement
- Allows easy assembly and disassembly
- Enables close tolerance for parts
- Offers Color Identification
Types are those for low coefficient of friction at low loads, slow speeds; corrosion protection and solvent resistance; anti-stick and release agents; water-based versions for use where high-temperature baked-on materials cannot be used; graphite or chloride-free formulas that cure by air drying or baking; compounds for temperature ranges from 0F to +859F or -350F to +400F; and adhesion and abrasion. Overall range, depending on product varieties, is from -400F to 1400F. Coefficient of friction range is 0.02 to 0.06.
Tips on solid-film lubricants:
- As load increases the coefficient of friction decreases to as low as 0.02 under extreme loads on hard surfaces.
- Kinetic coefficient of friction is slightly lower than the static coefficient.
- Coefficient of friction is affected by the hardness of the surface to which the lubricant is applied, decreasing for hard surfaces and increasing for soft ones.
- Coefficient of friction is lower for rotating motion than for oscillating motion.
- For the lowest friction and the longest wear, use the hardest metals consistent with good design.
- If it is necessary to choose between applying the lubricant to either surface in a hard/soft bearing system, the lubricant should be applied to the softer material.
- Coefficient of friction will always decrease during burnishing.
- In general, the coefficient of friction will be higher if both surfaces are coated than if only one surface is coated; however, wear life will increase if both surfaces are coated.
These lubricants can be applied by spraying, dipping, tumble spraying or being brushed onto a prepared surface. Some require thermal curing and others are ready to use after air drying. They are used primarily between two mating surfaces such as camshafts, bearings, marine parts, guns, weapons, pistons, valves, connectors, fasteners and slides. Among the fields in which they find use are aerospace, automotive, computer manufacturing, EMI/RFI shielding, petrochemical, fasteners, valves and pumps. A dedicated line of these lubricants and coatings for the valve industry is offered in a broad temperature range.
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