What are solid film lubricants?

Metal surfaces are characterized by series of peaks and valleys (under microscope), no matter how fine they are machined. Those uneven surfaces will lead to boundary lubrication state under high loads or low speed operations especially during cold-start, start-up, shut-down and severe metal contact applications. Nowadays, the only way for most of the lubricant companies to reduce the problems is to add one (or more) solid additive(s) into the lubricants due to the limitations of their technologies.

Most of the solid additives have layered platelet structure enable them to function. They are being smashed and crashed into micronic and sub-micronic sized particles that hope to increase the smoothness of the metal surface and the increase the contact area, and aimed to reduce the surface pressure. Most of the lubricant companies tell users that the adhesive wear of metal surface can be reduced. However, they never let people know the severe side effects of those solid additives.

What Is Esters (Dimethyl ester, Linear alkyl esters etc)?

Esters, under the Yellow List of Prohibited and Restricted substances by Cummins is announced on 06/2015 Toxic for reproduction, whether synthetic or bio-based, are constructed from acids and alcohols, and are subject to hydrolysis which breaks the ester back to acids and alcohols. The acids liberated, though are weak organic fatty acids, can do damage to the engine when present in doses over 0.1%, i.e. double and triple ester motor oil may contain esters up to 30%. The most common downsides and concern of esters when formulating with ester base stocks is compatibility with the elastomer material used in the seals. Another potential disadvantage with esters is their ability to react with water or hydrolyze under certain conditions. Generally this hydrolysis reaction requires the presence of water and heat with a relatively strong acid or base to catalyze the reaction. After prolonged use of ester based lubricant oil the surface of the metal parts inside the machine may erode and a polymer like film may be formed with other chemicals which will cause an irreversible damage to the system.

Severe Side Effects Of Solid Additives & Esters That Lubricants Companies Never Tell You

Disadvantages Of Common Solid Additives & Esters

Solid Additive Description Disadvantages
Molybdenum Disulphide Dark gray powder, and EP agent
  • Insoluble in base oil
  • Expensive
  • Size of the particles can be a concern in some applications
  • Moisture (water vapour) is detrimental to its performance
  • Limitations in grease applications. Moly containing greases are not suitable for rolling bearings (made by some manufactureres), especially in higher speed rolling bearings because particles of moly can build-up and block the clearances between the rolling elements and the cages. This can cause the cages to skid and lead to damages
  • Cause metal surface damages in the long term or during high load applications
  • banned by Cummins due to excessive valve train wear
  • Clog oil filters or oil lines when using extended drain intervals
Graphite Black powder, crystalline form of carbon
  • Very weak natural affinity for metal surface which must apply a polar agent to achieve adhesion
  • Insoluble in base oils
  • May cause galvanic corrosion
  • Not applicable in vacuum environment
  • Conducts electricity
  • Natural graphite may be irregular in size
  • Cause metal surface damages in the long term or during high load applications
Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE or Teflon™) White fluorinated polymer created by chemical reaction
  • Low load carrying capacities (<35MPa or 5,000 psi)
  • Poor radiation stability
  • Temperature limitation of less than 270℃
  • Cause metal surface damages in the long term or during high load applications

Ref.: "Solid Film Lubricants." Basic Handbook of Lubrication. 3rd ed. USA: Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers - Alberta Section, 2011. N. pag. Print.

Ester Description Disadvantages
  • Linear Alkyl Esters
  • Benzenedicarboxylic Acid
Clear Non Viscous Liquid
  • Toxic (TSCA)
  • Incompatible with elastomer material
  • Compatibility issues with other lubricant components
  • Erosive

The ABF Technology Is The Only Solution

Steel Shield Lubricants with ABF Technology contain NO solid additives. This technology is the latest and the most advanced solution for any metal-to-metal lubrication in the world. It does not cause any damage or side effects to metal or machine systems. Also, ABF Technology helps you to cut huge amount of maintenance and energy costs with the minimum metal frictions and wears. It is the latest trend to replace any solid additives.