August 13th, 2021
Friction and wear are inherent to moving parts. One-fifth of the world’s total energy consumption goes into overcoming friction. The largest consumers of this energy are transportation, power generation, and manufacturing. While these sectors are vital for our society, the global commitment to fight climate change and achieve a carbon-neutral society by the year 2050 calls for innovative lubrication technologies to tackle friction. Within fifteen years, there is a potential of saving up to 40% of these energy losses arising from friction and wear, thereby significantly reducing the global carbon footprint. These savings equate to 1.4% of the annual global GDP.
Saint-Gobain’s Greener Tribological Solutions
At Saint-Gobain, we are committed to addressing this inherent problem by producing advanced tribological solutions for sustainable technologies. One such state-of-the-art technique is the use of anti-wear and anti-friction lubricant additives. Our hexagonal boron nitride (HBN) lubricant additives have set new standards as high-performance lubricants for green technologies.
HBN lubricant additives are hexagonal boron nitride powders that possess a lamellar structure like graphite. They can be combined with liquid lubricants, like mineral oil, to create a lubricating dispersion, or can be used as a dry solid lubricant. Boron nitride particles settle in the gaps between the sliding surfaces and reduce the coefficient of friction. HBN lubricant additives have a low coefficient of friction, possess excellent high-temperature stability, and remain lubricious at temperatures up to 1800°C under inert conditions. HBN lubricant additives are oxidation-resistant up to 900°C. The thermal conductivity of HBN lubricant additives is unmatched, making them highly effective for heat dissipation in applications involving fast-moving parts. Moreover, they are chemically inert, corrosion-resistant, non-toxic, and hence eco-friendly. This impressive set of characteristics makes HBN lubricant additives a preferred “green” tribological solution over the conventional solid lubricants such as graphite, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), or PTFE (Teflon) that fail under most extreme operating conditions. Besides, the conventional additives often contain environmental pollutants such as phosphorous, carbon, sulfur, and heavy metals.
Contribution of HBN Lubricant Additives to Greener Technologies
Saint-Gobain’s highly durable HBN lubricant additives have set new standards with reduced lubricant usage, less frequency of lubrication, and reduced downtime of sustainable technologies, thereby substantially bringing down the total energy consumption and the associated carbon footprint.