Tribochemical Assessment of Vegetable-Based Oil-Derived Lubricants for Industrial Tribological Performance.
Abstract: Mineral oil-based lubricants are known for their non-renewable nature, health hazards, and susceptibility to price fluctuations. Consequently, vegetable oils have emerged as promising alternatives for lubricant production. This study focuses on the utilization of non-edible vegetable oils, specifically jatropha and castor oils, for the development of lubricants suitable for industrial applications. The oils underwent characterization and modification processes to enhance their suitability, ultimately resulting in the creation of lubricants for industrial use. As a control, a commercially available mineral oil-based lubricant, SAE 20/W50, was employed. Additionally, the impact of additives on the tribological performance of the developed biolubricants derived from jatropha and castor oils was investigated. The modification of jatropha oil led to improved viscosity but a reduced viscosity index, whereas the modification of castor oil significantly reduced viscosity but enhanced the viscosity index. Unlike other vegetable oils, jatropha and castor oils exhibited favorable cold flow properties, which were further improved through modification. The developed jatropha and castor oil-based biolubricants exhibited alkaline pH, high viscosity index, appreciable viscosity, excellent cold flow, corrosion inhibition properties, and high biodegradability (over 80%), surpassing the poor biodegradability (35.2%) of the mineral oil-based lubricant SAE 20/W50. Among the additives, cetyl chloride displayed the most significant effect on the coefficient of friction, while Tricysl Phosphate had the most influential effect on the viscosity index of the jatropha and castor oil-based biolubricants. The jatropha and castor oils outperformed the SAE 20/W50 in terms of friction reduction and wear prevention, with the castor oil exhibiting a coefficient of friction of 0.082 and a wear rate of 0.007 mm3N-1m-1, and the jatropha oil-based biolubricant displaying a coefficient of friction of 0.075 and a wear rate of 0.00699 mm3N-1m-1, which had similar wear performance but superior friction performance compared to the SAE 20/W50. Furthermore, the developed castor oil-based biolubricant demonstrated a coefficient of friction of 0.067 and a wear rate of 0.00511 mm3N-1m-1, surpassing the SAE 20/W50 in both friction and wear performance. Hence, modified and unmodified jatropha and castor oils are deemed suitable for industrial applications in low-temperature environments. The developed jatropha and castor oil biolubricants serve as environmentally friendly substitutes for the mineral oil-based lubricant SAE 20/W50, particularly in two-stroke engines, metal cutting, and gear lubrication within the food processing industry.
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