When Michael Furey, professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering, at Virginia Tech, met Czeslaw Kajdas, then with the Radom Technical University in Poland, at a conference in Europe in 1981, they had differing views on how to form polymer films on surfaces to reduce wear. The result of their eventual collaboration has been fundamental discoveries in surface chemistry and dozens of compounds that reduced wear in metals, advanced alloys, and ceramics. These include ashless antiwear additives for fuels, such as for diesel, jet, and two-cycle gasoline fuels; lubricants for automotive and industrial applications; and a variety of applications in which environmental concerns are important.
At the 231st American Chemical Society National Meeting in Atlanta on March 26-30, Furey will discuss the novel concept of molecular design to create additives and compounds which will reduce wear in liquid and vapor phase applications.
Tribopolymerization, developed by Furey and Kajdas, involves continuous formation of thin polymeric films on rubbing surfaces to reduce wear and surface damage. The films are self-replenishing. Specifically selected small molecules (monomers) adsorb on surfaces. Under the action of sliding contact, thin protective polymer films will form.
Susan Trulove | EurekAlert!
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