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A new type of self-lubricated thermal spray coatings – liquid lubricants embedded in a metal matrix


Oils and greases are commonly used for lubricating, rotating and sliding systems such as bearings, gears, connectors, etc. The maintenance of such lubricated systems in some applications where access is difficult (e.g., offshore wind farms and subsea equipment) increases the operational costs. In some cases, it can be thought that the use of solid lubricants (MoS2, PTFE, graphite, etc.) embedded in coatings could be a solution for such applications; however, the mechanical and dynamic conditions of most of the systems are not appropriate for solid lubricants. Despite this, solid lubricants such as PTFE and MoS2 have been largely employed in different industries, especially in those applications where liquid lubricants cannot be used and when the dynamic conditions allow for it. Self-lubricated coatings have been a major topic of interest in thermal spray in the last decades. Although the use of liquid lubricants is desirable whenever it is possible, limited research has been addressed toward the development of self-lubricated coatings containing liquid lubricants. One of the main reasons for this is due to the complexity of embedding liquid lubricant reservoirs inside the coating matrix. In the present work, a new type of liquid-solid self-lubricated coatings is presented, being the matrix a metal alloy. Three thermal spray techniques used were as follows: arc-spray, plasma spray, and HVOAF. The metal matrices were two stainless steel types and liquid lubricant-filled capsules with different liquid contents were used. No degradation of the capsules during spraying was observed and the coatings containing capsules were able to keep a low coefficient of friction. The optimal performance is found for the coatings obtained at the lowest spraying temperature and velocity.


Academic article





  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Industry / Materials and Nanotechnology



Published in

Journal of thermal spray technology (Print)








222 - 234

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