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Properties of Tungsten Disulfide (Dicronite®) Dry Film Lubrication

 

Properties of Tungsten Disulfide (Dicronite®) 

Dry Film Lubrication

Once engineers learn that Dicronite® dry film lubrication may very well solve their lubrication challenges, the conversation often turns to the solid lubricant’s properties.  Dicronite® DL-5® is a modified tungsten disulfide powder (also spelled “tungsten disulphide”).  Tungsten disulfide can be mined naturally as tungstenite, or it can be synthetically produced by combining Tungsten and Sulfur (WS2).  The inorganic WS2 compound has a lamellar, or crystalline structure similar to that of MoS2.  The Dicronite® process modifies the WS2 compound without changing molecular structure and produces an extremely lubricious powder that, when impingement applied to customer parts, creates an exceptionally thin, remarkably slick film that molecularly adheres to the substrate surface.

One of the most valued Dicronite® properties is the coating’s thickness.  Because the particles will not bond to themselves and are of a controlled size, the solid lubricant film is not more than 0.5 microns thick.  This makes it very attractive to designers challenged with adding the lubricant to already designed parts and components. The coating is a beautiful silver-gray, polished rhodium color, but the finished coating color can differ depending on the color and finish of the substrate underneath.  Dicronite® dry lube can be applied on many substrates, including all metals and most plastics, and is often applied on top of other coatings such as TiN, CrN, CrC or Nickel.  With a hardness rating of 1.0-1.5 on the Moh’s scale, it is relatively soft. This, along with the material’s low shear stress between molecular layers, enables Dicronite® to provide exceptional lubricity.  It can be applied in soft–soft, soft–hard, hard–hard, or many other variations of substrate surfaces.

In order to bond Dicronite® to customer parts, the powder is sprayed at very high velocity onto the substrate at one of 12 Dicronite® licensed facilities. This impingement process requires no binders, adhesives, solvents or cure time, and occurs at ambient temperatures.

Dicronite® solid lubricant does not affect surface electrical properties. It is also stable in extreme temperatures: -350° F to +1000° F or (-188° C to +538° C).  In a vacuum, this WS2 coating withstands temperatures from -350° F to +2400F (-188° C to +1316° C), which is partly why it was developed for use on NASA’s Apollo missions and continues to be used in harsh environments today. Other properties to consider are:

  • It is inert, non-magnetic and completely safe for the environment
  • It withstands loads to 350,000 psi (approximately 2,450 MPa)
  • It is compatible with oils, greases, hydraulic fluids, and fuels

Dicronite® dry lubrication is biocompatible. It has been tested in accordance with ISO-10993 and United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) Class 6. Application specific approvals have been received from both the United States Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Dicronite® dry film lubrication can be applied to holes, inside diameters and/or inside surfaces. It is possible to mask off or protect portions of the substrate or part so that they do not receive Dicronite® dry lubrication.

For more information or to download Dicronite® Dry Lubrication Technical Data Sheet, click here.

 

© Lubrication Sciences International, Inc. 2021. Dicronite® and DL-5® are registered trademarks of Lubrication Sciences International, Inc.

 

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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

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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