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Title: Investigation into tribological performance of vegetable oils as biolubricants at severe contact conditions
Author: Bahari, Adli
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 4010
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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The concern about the pollution created by the use of mineral oil based lubricants and the depletion stock of petroleum has inspired research on alternative lubricants known as biolubricants. The tribological performance of vegetable oils (palm oil and soybean oil) as biolubricants and their blends with mineral oil and anti-wear additives was evaluated in order to assess their potential use in automotive engines. The tests were performed using a reciprocating ball-on-flat test-rig at severe contact conditions with grey cast iron specimens. The performance was compared with a commercial mineral engine oil for benchmarking purposes. At severe contact conditions, the friction and wear results of vegetable oil lubricants were found to be greatly influenced by the wide hardness range of the grey cast iron specimens. The measurement of hardness on the intended wear scar region prior to testing was used in order to provide more robust tribological data. In a pure oil state, the palm oil performance was found to be competitive in friction coefficient with mineral engine oil. However, the mineral oil is far superior in wear protection over vegetable oils due to the additive package it contains its superior oxidative stability. For a vegetable oil-mineral oil blend in equal ratio, the reduction of friction and wear was not significant. However, the addition of 2% zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate in vegetable oils gave significant improvement on the friction and wear. The friction coefficient of palm oil with this additive was very close to the commercial mineral engine oil. The zinc dialkyl dithiophospate in vegetable oil was found to perform three functions; as an anti-wear agent, anti-oxidant and friction modifier. The blend of vegetable oils with boron nitride, however, did not give better results. This could be mainly due to the selection of particles size which was not suitable with the surface roughness. When putting all the results together, the downside of pure vegetable oils is found to be greater in terms of wear resistance and oxidative stability compared to friction. This effect was prominent when they were blended with mineral oils where their tribological performance dominated. However, with the commercial anti-wear additive, specifically the zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate, the vegetable oils showed positive signs as a potential candidate to be used as an alternative lubricant in automotive engine systems even though there is still much room for improvement.
Supervisor: Slatter, Tom ; Lewis, Roger Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available