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What is Military Specification DOD-L-85645?

What is Military Specification DOD-L-85645?

What is Military Specification


What is Military Specification DOD-L-85645

The DOD-L-85645 specification was approved for use by all departments and agencies of the Department of Defense regarding the use of tungsten disulfide as a dry thin film lubricant.

It established the requirements for two types of WS2 dry thin film lubricants; Dicronite® DL-5® fell under DoD-L-85645 type 1.

How does AMS2530 compare to DOD-L-85645?

SAE Aerospace Materials Specification (AMS) 2530, the current specification for Tungsten Disulfide (WS2) coatings, is similar to DOD-L-85645?

  1.  It is specific to binder less lubricants (Type 1 under the DOD specification);
  2. It indicates application by impingement following surface cleaning and honing;
  3. It updates quality assurance provisions, including the definition of periods for adhesion and thickness testing
  4. It does not specify a requirement for coefficient of friction testing;
  5. It provides an option for the end customer to require friction and/or wear testing;
  6. It adds an optional requirement for outgassing testing (a measure of stability in vacuum environments);

What do I do if I have a drawing that requires DOD-L-85645?

Customers have two options:

  1.  Do nothing different. You can still use drawings that require DoD-L-85645 type 1. Your parts will be coated in the same way, with the same trusted Dicronite® DL-5® material you have received in the past. Dicronite®’s certification documentation will read “Dicronite® per AMS2530 which supersedes DoD-L-85645 type1”.

  2. Revise your drawings to read “apply Dicronite® dry lubrication DL-5 per AMS2530″. In order to guarantee the exact same material and same quality service you have received in the past, it is important to callout Dicronite® DL-5®.

The Story of Military Specification DOD-L-85645 and Dicronite®

In 1965, Dicronite® DL-5® patented the original tungsten disulfide coating. It was developed for NASA and soon marketed for industry use.

In 1985, Military Specification DOD-L-85645, Lubricant, Dry Thin Film, Molecular Bonded was published, allowing the military access to Dicronite®.

Revision A [1] was issued in 1988. By 1999, a few of the requirements and references were outdated and the military specification was made “inactive for new design” (Notice 1). Despite notice 1, users of binderless, thin-film tungsten disulfide coatings continued to use this inactive military specification.

In 2020, after 1 ½ years of collaboration with the makers of Dicronite®, SAE Aerospace Materials Specification (AMS) 2530, Tungsten Disulfide Coating, Thin Lubricating Film, Binder-Less, Impingement Applied was published.

It is similar to the inactive DoD specification but with the five exceptions listed above. The requirements and quality assurance provisions inherent with this current specification align with industry best practice.

In June 2019, Lubrication Sciences International, Inc. (LSI), the manufacturer and licensor of Dicronite® DL-5®, began an exhaustive petition to the DoD, presenting evidence that industry was still using the inactive specification.

In June 2020, LSI followed best practice standards and announced their discontinued use of the inclined plane testing method as a measure of coefficient of friction (DOD-L-85645A, 4.5.5).

It was further announced that adhesion, thickness, thermal stability, and corrosion resistance testing would remain a part of regular Dicronite® testing.

While no changes were made to the modification of WS2 and production of Dicronite® DL-5®, future material would be certified to SAE AMS2530 only.

In November 2020, DOD-L-85645 was canceled and superseded by SAE AMS2530.

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Sliding Wear

Sliding wear occurs when two surfaces slide against one another causing material loss to one or both surfaces. Over time, this can result in component failures, additional maintenance, and costly down time.  

Coating components with Dicronite® can help minimize this wear and reduce the need for maintenance and down time.


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Tight Tolerance Lubrication

Extremely tight tolerances can present challenges when lubricants or coatings are needed to reduce friction. Many products are available to help reduce friction, but in the case of very tight tolerances, few can be integrated without the need for adjustments.

Dicronite® has an average thickness of 0.5 microns (0.00002 inch) or less. This precision thin film allows users to incorporate Dicronite® on designs with tight tolerances without the need for design or manufacturing changes.


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Vacuum Environment Lubrication

Vacuum environments present a challenge for lubrication. Many conventional lubricants aren’t effective under vacuum and are largely vaporized.

Dicronite® can be used in vacuum to reduce friction where other lubricants can’t function. The outgassing of Dicronite® under vacuum conditions is well below screening levels for spacecraft materials per ASTM E595.


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Energy Lost to Friction

Friction is wasted energy! Systems with critical mechanical power output need to be extremely efficient.

Dicronite® optimizes mechanical efficiency by reducing friction losses and can even work in tandem with existing lubrication to further optimize efficiency.

Dicronite® is especially useful in precision systems, extreme environments, or where minimizing size and weight is vital.


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Fretting is a unique form of sliding wear that occurs when contact surfaces oscillate over a very small range of motion. Although it may seem minor, this surface wear can ultimately lead to fatigue cracking and devastating damage.

Dicronite® helps remedy fretting by providing lubrication at contact surfaces. This effectively reduces the wear and surface stresses that cause so much damage.

Dicronite® can be integrated into existing designs and assemblies without any other adjustments for seamless reduction of fretting wear.


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Extreme Temperature Lubrication

Extreme low or high temperatures can be challenging environments for lubrication. At low temperatures, conventional lubricants may be too viscous to be effective, while extreme high temperatures can result in breakdown of the lubricant.

Dicronite can be used in extreme environments to ensure effective lubrication while also being used in combination with oils and greases.

Dicronite is stable across a wide temperature range:


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Excessive Heat from Friction

As friction in an assembly generates heat, elevated temperatures can result in unwanted operating conditions.

This can cause overheating and accelerate the breakdown of materials, resulting in costly maintenance and down time or destructive failure.

Proper lubrication can help minimize friction, reduce heat, and increase mechanical efficiency. Coat parts with Dicronite® to avoid excessive maintenance and ensure components will run as efficiently as possible.


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