Powdered Graphite in engine oil

  1. From a chemical point of view, what are some of your thoughts about powdered graphite in engine oil? I think it would work very well because it would suspend particles between the graphene sheets.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    No idea.

    But I can tell you that nobody will be able to comment without a context. What do you want to use it for? What properties do you need/expect?

    For example - it will make a lousy hand wash, your hands will be not only greasy, but also black. So if that's your plan, you are on the wrong track.
     
  4. It should suspend oil between the graphene sheets and make a very good lubricant for engines. It should also be able to resist the high temperatures that engines create. And I think that random "nuisance" particles that are too small to get filtered by an oil filter should be suspended between the sheets and rendered harmless. I'm looking for some thoughts that chemists may have on this idea.

    I also understand that graphite can cause pitting in metals. I think that the oil would create an insulating barrier that wouldn't allow corrosion to happen between the metal and powdered graphite
     
  5. alxm

    alxm 1,864
    Science Advisor

    You're basically suggesting that sooty oil would work better than clean oil - which is pretty much contrary to everyday experience.
     
  6. What I'm thinking is that the graphite will help lubricate and should suspend even more particles than just oil alone. Therefore it won't have the negative effects of soot.
     
  7. The machinist in our department at uni told me that when graphite mixes with lubricating oils in a transmission (such as a large mill) it forms a lapping compound and eventually will wear off the finish on the gears. I have no "official" source to back this up with though.
     
  8. RonL

    RonL 907
    Gold Member

    I remember somewhere in my past seeing graphite in a motor oil (will try to remember where and when), I think the biggest problem will be keeping it in suspension and not settling and forming a blockage in small openings or flow lines.

    Ron
     
  9. alxm

    alxm 1,864
    Science Advisor

    You're thinking is misguided. Oil does not penetrate between the graphene sheets of crystalline graphite.
    Besides which, why would this make it a better lubricant? Even if this was possible you would be increasing the adhesion of the sheets through London interactions.
     
  10. So is the reason that air and random dirt particles can penetrate the graphite sheets because the are polar?
     
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