Harta, I., Owens, K., De Jesús Santiago, S., Schall, D. et al., "Tribological Performance of ZnO-Oil Nanofluids at Elevated Temperatures," SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. 6(1):126-131, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-1219.
The tribological performance of nanofluids consisting of ZnO nanoparticles dispersed with a stabilizer in an API Group III oil was investigated. Recent research suggests that these fluids may reduce friction and wear compared to the base oil when used as a lubricant in metal-on-metal tests. The effects of nanoparticle concentration and test temperature on friction and wear were studied. Tests were run at 50°C and 100°C to investigate the viability of the fluids at elevated temperatures because possible applications include use as engine lubricants. Nanofluids showed friction reduction of up to 5.2% and reduced wear by up to 82.8% versus oil with only stabilizer at the highest ZnO concentration and the lowest temperature. Stabilizer increased wear at every concentration, but did not affect friction significantly. Fluid viscosity was also investigated. At 30°C, significant shear-thinning behavior was observed for the 2% ZnO solution, and a viscosity versus shear rate curve was found. At higher temperatures and high shear rates, the fluids took on Newtonian characteristics. The transition from non-Newtonian to Newtonian behavior may have important implications in the application of nanoparticle lubricant additives in engine oils.