Yakov Epshteyn, chief engineer of lubrication at Climax Molybdenum, said the company has developed molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) that can be sprayed into a spherical form called spherical molybdenum disulfide (SMD). Epshteyn was speaking at the pre-conference workshop of F+L Week 2015 at the Pan Pacific Singapore on Tuesday.
SMD can substitute for regular MoS2 as an additive for greases, coatings, lubricating oils and other applications. Epshteyn said the new product works well under extreme pressure conditions and while It has not been shown to greatly reduce friction, it did greatly decrease wear. MoS2 is a powder and usually presents in a crystal form, with a hexagonal or rhombohedral shape. Development of the spherical version took four to five years, he said.
SMD is formulated by spray drying the slurry of superfine MoS2. Initial trials have been conducted proving that it is possible to make a homogeneous blend of MoS2, wherein the blend, as well as the particles themselves, are homogeneous, meaning the sulphur is evenly dispersed. Formulating and granulating conditions can be arranged to modify the particle size, shape and hardness, so that the ideal size and shape of the particles can be obtained.
SMD is not yet commercially available. He said that the product will be launched during the European Lubricating Grease Institute (ELGI) annual meeting in April.