Friction reduction coating creates slippery surface without harm.

     Most are familiar with the lubricating properties of liquids such as water or oil and are surprised to learn that one of the best lubricants, tungsten disulfide, is actually a solid. With an applied thickness of only one micron thick, tungsten disulfide’s platelets bond to metals and other materials and allow parts to glide past each other easily.
     Between 1962 and late 1973, 10 robotic explorers named Mariner were built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to investigate Earth’s closest neighbors: Venus, Mars and Mercury. Besides revealing much about the planets, the Mariners proved that interplanetary flight and scientific exploration was possible using small, low-cost spacecraft that could be designed in a short amount of time and stay on the job severalyears. During the later missions some of that durability was due to a new lubricant called tungsten disulfide, developed for NASA by Stanford University. Following this debut, tungsten disulfide (WS2
) found its way into industrial applications, primarily in aerospace and defense applications.
     In contact situations such as cutting tools, tungsten disulfide practically eliminates galling while improving chip evacuation and lubrication. This results in a much longer life for cutting tools, reduced lubricant temperatures, more efficient mold release, and improved service life for all treated parts.
     But that’s the obvious part.  In racing, any legal and safe method that gives a split-second lead over the other drivers is highly desired. Top IRL, CART, NASCAR and NHRA teams have embraced tungsten disulfide for its friction-fighting characteristics in engines and drivetrains. Race teams have reported a 30% longer life in coated parts; gears and shafts that once made it 700 miles are good to 2,000. Not only will the compound not damage the substrate (it is noncorrosive and no heat is required for curing), but tungsten disulfide is inert, nontoxic, and environmentally friendly. The coating takes on the characteristics of the base material. It won’t chip, flake or peel — important to anyone who designs and builds precision components. Tungsten disulfide has an operating temperature range of -400 F to 1,000 F, and withstands load forces in excess of 300,000 psi.



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