Energy efficient siloxane lubricants utilizing temporary shear-thinning

Thomas J. Zolper*, Afif M. Seyam, Changle Chen, Manfred Jungk, Andreas Stammer, Herbert Stoegbauer, Tobin J. Marks, Yip Wah Chung, Qian Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study investigates the rheologic properties, elastohydrodynamic film, and friction coefficients of several siloxane-based lubricants to assess their shear stability and their potential for energy efficient lubrication. Several siloxane-based polymers with alkyl, aryl, and alkyl-aryl branches were synthesized in order to examine the relationship between their molecular structures and tribological performance. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography were used to characterize the molecular structures and masses, respectively. Density, viscosity, elastohydrodynamic film thickness, and friction measurements were measured from 303 to 398 K. Film thickness and friction measurements were made at loads and speeds that cover the boundary, mixed, and full film lubrication regimes. These results illustrate that the shear characteristics of siloxane lubricants vary significantly with polymer length as well as branch structure and content. The findings provide quantitative insight into the features of siloxane molecular structure conducive to optimum film formation with minimum wear and elastohydrodynamic friction to enhance energy efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-538
Number of pages14
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Ehl friction (traction)
  • Ehl with non-Newtonian lubricants
  • Energy conservation
  • Silicones
  • Synthetic base stocks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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