Reduce Friction with a

Dry Film Lubricant

What is a dry film lubricant?

A dry lubricant, also known as a solid film lubricant, uses a dry substance or coating to reduce friction between two surfaces. Using this type of lubrication can help minimize wear and tear while also increasing efficiency in a mechanical system.

Dry lubrication is especially useful in harsh environments where traditional lubricants may not be suitable. Learning when and where to utilize this kind of lubrication can greatly optimize your performance while minimizing costly downtime of your operation.

How does dry lubrication reduce friction?

Most solid film lubricants have a unique molecular structure that 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, or low friction. When the dry lube is applied on contact surfaces, the material’s layers provide low friction sliding, effectively lubricating the surfaces.

When to use a dry lubricant:

Dry lubrication is often utilized where wet lubricants can’t be used. Such as:

However, not only can a dry lubricant replace a wet lubricant, but it can also be used as a “back up” or an extra layer along with a wet lubricant. Pairing the two can help squeeze every bit of performance out of an application when trying to reduce friction.

Where are dry film lubricants used?

Dry lubrication can be applied to many components that range in many shapes and sizes. Most common parts include but are not limited to:

What friction related problems are dry lubricants used to solve?

Dry lubrication can be used to help solve frictional problems such as:

  • Sliding Wear
  • Galling & seizing components
  • High operating temperatures due to excess friction
  • Inefficient mold release and mold flow
  • Component failure that leads to downtime and costly repairs 

What are the most commonly used dry lubricants?

Some examples of dry lubricants are: 

LubricantApplication MethodCoating ThicknessTemperature Stability (in air)Key Benefits
PTFE, Teflon aerosol,
HVLP gun
10-100 Microns-240°C to 260°Cchemical resistant
non-stick
durable
Graphite aerosol,
brush on
2-30 Microns-15°C to 1500°Cstrong heat/energy conductor
fast drying and curing
non-stick
MoS2
(Molybdenum Sulfide)
aerosol,
burnishing,
tumbling,
impingement with curing
2-15 Micronsup to 350°Cunreactive
fit for vacuum
corrosion resistance
rust prevention
WS2
(Tungsten Disulfide)
Aerosol,
burnishing,
tumbling,
impingement without curing
0.5 Microns-188°C to 538°C
cryogenic to 540°C
ultra thin coating
fit for vacuum
fit for extreme temps
bicompatible
HBN
(Hexagonal Boron Nitride)
aerosol,
tumbler,
spray methods
150 Micronsup to 1000°Chigh temp stability
low coefficient of friction

Important considerations when choosing a dry lubrication:

When determining which dry film lubricant is most suitable for your application, it is important to consider the environment that it will be used in.

Understanding the full environment in which the coating will be incorporated will help determine which product is most optimal for the application. Cost is an additional factor to consider as some coatings will be more expensive than others.

Determining the right dry lubricant can help eliminate some of the complications of working with other lubricants. Countless engineers utilize solid lubricants to squeeze every bit of performance out of their application. Consider incorporating this type of coating into your design to help protect and improve your mechanical systems.

How can we help you make your decision?

While there are many dry film lubricants on the market, we at Dicronite® offer a full tungsten disulfide coating service. The coating’s unique properties allow it to greatly reduce fiction in various high precision applications.

While Dicronite® may not be suitable for every application, our experts are happy to speak with you further about what you are trying to accomplish when incorporating a solid film lubricant into your design.

Speak to an expert today. We can help conduct a trial coating or point you in the right direction. 

High presicion dry lubrication for 65+ years. 

Wanting to improve mechanical performance with dry lubrication?

Our experts are here to help. 

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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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