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      Tribological application and mechanism of epicuticular wax

      , * ,

      Friction

      Tsinghua University Press

      epicuticular wax, tribological application, GC-MS, TOF-SIMS, adsorption

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          Abstract

          The plant cuticle is a complex mixture of omnipresent, commonly monofunctional, fatty acid derivatives and taxon-specific, generally bifunctional, specialty compounds. This study explored expanded applications for these substances. Four types of plant cuticles were distilled from leaves and the resulting lipid mixtures were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. These were then used as additives for a synthetic ester lubricant. A reciprocating friction and wear testing machine was utilized to investigate the resulting tribological properties. The worn surfaces of the lower discs were observed and analyzed using optical microscopy and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. The results reveal that cuticular waxes can modify the friction properties of the base oil. Furthermore, cuticular waxes demonstrate better performance when compared to the commercially available additive molybdenum dithiocarbamates. A protective adsorption film was identified as the reason for the improved friction reduction and anti-wear properties of the lubricant on the friction pair. This study provides a reference for the study of new types of non-sulfur, phosphorus, and other active element additives and demonstrates considerable potential for the economical utilization of plant leaf waxes.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Leaf epicuticular waxes.

          The external surface of the higher plants comprises a cuticular layer covered by a waxy deposit. This deposit is believed to play a major part in such phenomena as the water balance of plants and the behavior of agricultural sprays. The wax contains a wide range of organic compounds. These complex mixtures are amenable to modern microchromatographic and microspectrometric analytical procedures. The few surveys which have been made of the species distribution of certain classes of constituents indicate that such distribution may be of limited taxonomic value; however, the wax composition of a species may differ for different parts of the same plant and may vary with season, locale, and the age of the plant. This fascinating subject, in which the disciplines of botany, biochemistry, chemistry, and physics overlap and interact, is still in a very active state. Much remains to be learned about the composition and fine structure of the wax deposits, and, for this, experimental study of wax crystallization and permeation through artificial membranes will be required. Enzymic studies, radiolabeling, and electron microscopy will be needed to reveal the mode of biogenesis of the wax constituents and their site of formation and subsequent pathway through the cuticle to the leaf surface.
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            Building lipid barriers: biosynthesis of cutin and suberin.

            Cutin and suberin are the polymer matrices for lipophilic cell wall barriers. These barriers control the fluxes of gases, water and solutes, and also play roles in protecting plants from biotic and abiotic stresses and in controlling plant morphology. Although they are ubiquitous, cutin and suberin are the least understood of the major plant extracellular polymers. The use of forward and reverse genetic approaches in Arabidopsis has led to the identification of oxidoreductase and acyltransferase genes involved in the biosynthesis of these polymers. However, major questions about the underlying polymer structure, biochemistry, and intracellular versus extracellular assembly remain to be resolved. The analysis of plant lines with modified cutins and suberins has begun to reveal the inter-relationships between the composition and function of these polymers.
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              Solving the puzzles of cutin and suberin polymer biosynthesis.

              Cutin and suberin are insoluble lipid polymers that provide critical barrier functions to the cell wall of certain plant tissues, including the epidermis, endodermis and periderm. Genes that are specific to the biosynthesis of cutins and/or aliphatic suberins have been identified, mainly in Arabidopsis thaliana. They notably encode acyltransferases, oxidases and transporters, which may have either well-defined or more debatable biochemical functions. However, despite these advances, important aspects of cutin and suberin synthesis remain obscure. Central questions include whether fatty acyl monomers or oligomers are exported, and the extent of extracellular assembly and attachment to the cell wall. These issues are reviewed. Greater emphasis on chemistry and biochemistry will be required to solve these unknowns and link structure with function. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Tsinghua Science and Technology
                Friction
                Tsinghua University Press (Xueyuan Building, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China )
                2223-7690
                05 February 2019
                : 07
                : 01
                : 44-58 (pp. )
                Affiliations
                School of Energy Power and Mechanical Engineering, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
                Author notes
                * Corresponding author: Yanqiu XIA, E-mail: xiayq@ 123456ncepu.edu.cn

                Xuwen ZHONG. She received her bachelor degree in mechanical engineering and automation in 2015 from North China Electric Power University, Beijing China. Now, she is a master student majoring in mechanical design and theory. She is about to graduate from the same university in 2018. Her research interest is environment-friendly lubricants and additives.

                Yanqiu XIA. He received his PHD from Northeastern University in 1999, and was selected as Hundreds Talent Program of Chinese Academy of Science Professor in 2007. He joined the School of Energy Power and Mechanical Engineer, North China Electric Power University in 2010. His current position is the professor. His research areas cover tribology of mechanical and electrical equipment, focusing on lubricants, greases, additives and tribochemistry.

                Article
                2223-7690-07-01-44
                10.1007/s40544-017-0190-6

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Page count
                Figures: 10, Tables: 5, References: 25, Pages: 15
                Categories
                Research Article

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