30 September 2019

Molybdenum Disulfide: What Is It and What Are Its Applications?


Molybdenum disulfide is found in its natural form as a black, shiny solid otherwise known as molybdenite. This is a mineral which has a similar appearance to graphite but with a lower operating temperature. Despite this, it can be used in many applications that are suited for graphite such as in the production of chemical sensors.

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A Multi-Talented Material

Of course, molybdenum disulfide is so much more than a material for sensors. One of its most useful applications is in its processed form as a lubricant. Molybdenum disulfide has a multitude of layers but weak interlayer interactions. What this means it that it lends itself well to dry film lubricant applications where liquid lubrication is unsuitable.

Why Not Liquid Lubricant?

Liquid lubricants are seen as the standard type of lubricant for many technical applications, from oiling a squeaky door to helping tyres run smoothly on your bike. But for industrial applications, there is a better alternative: dry surface treatments.

Liquid lubricants have a tendency to pick up dirt and debris from the parts they are lubricating, which can reduce the smooth lubricating action needed for machinery. Dry surface treatments using molybdenum disulfide are just one of the services offered by industry coating businesses such as https://www.poeton.co.uk/treatments.

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Dry Surface Lubricants

Dry surface lubricants are applied to items in a tank. Materials that can be processed using molybdenum disulfide are nickel alloys, carbon steel, stainless steel, titanium alloys and aluminium alloys. It is a dry powder coating that can be applied to everything from military sliding mechanisms and seat belt mechanisms to subsea connectors.

The benefits of using molybdenum disulfide as a dry surface lubricant are multiple. As well as potentially reducing friction between bearings and connectors, as discussed here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/molybdenum-disulfide, it is also resistant to corrosion, providing a covering which can help prevent rust. It is also able to maintain its protective properties up to a temperature of 400 degrees and only reaches a boiling point at 450 degrees or above.

A Trusted Product

Molybdenum disulfide has been used as a dry lubricant for decades and has had extensive research completed about its reliability under extreme mechanical pressure. As a result, the grey powder has gained a reputation as a trusted product which can be used in a number of ways in mechanical industries.