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Galvanically induced potentials to enable minimal tribochemical wear of stainless steel lubricated with sodium chloride and ionic liquid aqueous solution

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      The effect of galvanically induced potentials on the friction and wear behavior of a 1RK91 stainless steel regarding to tribocorrosion was investigated using an oscillating ball-on-disk tribometer equipped with an electrochemical cell. The aim of this investigation is to develop a water-based lubricant. Therefore 1 molar sodium chloride (NaCl) and 1% 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [C2mim][Cl] water solutions were used. Tribological performance at two galvanically induced potentials was compared with the non-polarized state: cathodic potential-coupling with pure aluminum- and anodic potential-coupling with pure copper. Frictional and electrochemical response was recorded during the tests. In addition, wear morphology and chemical composition of the steel were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively.The galvanically induced cathodic polarization of the stainless steel surface results in electrochemical corrosion protection and the formation of a tribolayer. Cations from the electrolyte (sodium Na+ and 1-ethyl- 3-methylimidazolium [C2mim]+) interact and adhere on the surface. These chemical interactions lead to considerably reduced wear using 1 NaCl (86%) and 1% 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [C2mim][Cl] (74%) compared to the nonpolarized system. In addition, mechanical and corrosive part of wear was identified using this electrochemical technique. Therefore this method describes a promising method to develop water-based lubricants for technical applications.

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      Influence of chloride, water, and organic solvents on the physical properties of ionic liquids

      We report here the first systematic study of the effect of impurities and additives (e.g., water, chloride, and cosolvents) on the physical properties of room-temperature ionic liquids. Remarkably, it was discovered that the viscosity of mixtures was dependent mainly on the mole fraction of added molecular solvents and only to a lesser extent upon their identity, allowing viscosity changes during the course of a reaction to be entirely predictable. While the addition of such molecular solvents decreases the viscosity and density, chloride impurities, arising from the preparation of the ionic liquids, increase viscosity dramatically. The commonly used methods of preparation were validated with respect to chloride impurity.
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            Author and article information

            [ 1 ] Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, Woehlerstr. 11, Freiburg 79108, Germany
            [ 2 ] Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Freiburg, Freiburg 79104, Germany
            [ 3 ] IMTEK - Department of Microsystems Engineering, University of Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Allee 103, Freiburg 79110, Germany
            Author notes
            * Corresponding author: Tobias AMANN, E-mail: tobias.amann@

            Tobias AMANN. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2013. Since then, he is postdoctoral researcher in the Tribology Department of Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, where his current position is deputy group manager. His main research fields are lubricants (liquid crystals, ionic liquids), electrotribology, and tribocorrosion.

            Felix GATTI. He received his bachelor and master degrees in chemistry in 2017 from University of Freiburg, Germany. Currently he is a Ph.D. student in the Tribology Department of Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM. His research interests include graphene, ionic liquids, and tribocorrosion.

            Natalie OBERLE. She received her bachelor degree in mechanical engineering in 2016 from Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Currently she is working on her master thesis in the Tribology Department of Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM. Her research focuses on the tribological behavior of ionic liquids and hydrogen embrittlement.

            Andreas KAILER. He received his doctoral degree in applied mineralogy at University Tübingen, Germany in 1999 and then joined the Tribology Department of Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials, where his current position is group manager. His main research fields are tribology of ceramic materials, high temperature tribology, and tribocorrosion.

            Jürgen RÜHE. He studied chemistry at the universities of Münster and Mainz. In 1989 he received his Ph.D. degree from the Johannes- Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. Since 1999 he has a full professor position as the chair for chemistry and physics of interfaces at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg. His main research fields are surfaces, polymer chemistry, and polymer physics.

            Tsinghua Science and Technology
            Tsinghua University Press (Xueyuan Building, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China )
            05 June 2018
            : 06
            : 02
            : 230-242 (pp. )

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

            Figures: 7, Tables: 1, References: 63, Pages: 13
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