A magnetic ionic liquid (abridged as MIL) [C6mim]5[Dy(SCN)8] was prepared and used as the magnetic lubricant of a steel-steel sliding pair. The tribological properties of the as-prepared MIL were evaluated with a commercially obtained magnetic fluid lubricant (abridged as MF; the mixture of dioctyl sebacate and Fe3O4, denoted as DIOS-Fe3O4) as a control. The lubrication mechanisms of the two types of magnetic lubricants were discussed in relation to worn surface analyses by SEM-EDS, XPS, and profilometry, as well as measurement of the electric contact resistance of the rubbed steel surfaces. The results revealed that the MIL exhibits better friction-reducing and antiwear performances than the as-received MF under varying test temperatures and loads. This is because the MIL participates in tribochemical reactions during the sliding process, and forms a boundary lubrication film composed of Dy2O3, FeS, FeSO4, nitrogen-containing organics, and thioether on the rubbed disk surface, thereby reducing the friction and wear of the frictional pair. However, the MF is unable to form a lubricating film on the surface of the rubbed steel at 25 °C, though it can form a boundary film consisting of Fe3O4 and a small amount of organics under high temperature. Furthermore, the excessive Fe3O4 particulates that accumulate in the sliding zone may lead to enhanced abrasive wear of the sliding pair.


Tsinghua University Press