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How to Reduce Friction

How to Reduce Friction

Why does Friction Matter?

Friction can play a significant role in mechanical systems. When two surfaces rub together it can generate a significant amount of heat, wear, and often unwanted complications. It is essential to understand how to minimize friction in order to maximize the efficiency & reliability of your system. 

Problems Caused by Friction

As mentioned, friction can cause critical problems in mechanical systems. The following issues could arise: 

How to Reduce Friction?

To prevent failures and reduce inefficiencies, we must consider the whole system. Friction is a system effect, meaning multiple factors within a mechanical system determine the friction that’s present.

This can include factors such as:

What is Dicronite® Dry Lubrication?

Dicronite® is a dry lubricant that is used in mechanical systems to reduce friction, improve performance, and prevent failures.

This thin film coating, made of tungsten disulfide, is incredibly lubricious and can withstand extreme high or low temperatures as well as vacuum environments. 

In addition, its 0.5 micron average thickness allows its use on assemblies with extremely tight tolerances. Engineers within all industries have trusted Dicronite® in their most critical applications. 

How does Lubrication Reduce Friction?

The molecular structure of Dicronite® forms stacks of thin layers, also referred to as a lamellar structure. These thin layers are connected to each other by weak bonds that are easily broken.

This allows layers to slide along one another with very low resistance. With this in mind, optimal performance with Dicronite® is achieved when both contact surfaces are coated.

When Dicronite® is applied on contact surfaces, the material’s layers provide low friction sliding, effectively lubricating the surfaces.

Why should I use Dicronite® to Reduce Friction?

Originally developed for NASA, Dicronite® is valued for its extreme lubricity and ability to improve performance in various types of industries and applications.

It’s ability to reduce friction and prevent failure in extreme environments like high or low temperatures and vacuum make Dicronite® a critical solution to difficult friction related problems. 

For years, engineers have trusted Dicronite® on applications such as NASA’s Mars Rovers, military helicopter bearings, surgical devices, and high-performance engines.

See how the coating is used in your industry: 

With Dicronite®, users can:

Tungsten disulfide covered component to reduce friction

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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.


Ready to improve performance? Tell us about your application today.