Mixed lubrication of steel by C18 fatty acids revisited. Part I: Toward the formation of carboxylate

S. Loehlé, C. Matta, C. Minfray, T. Le Mogne, R. Iovine, Y. Obara, A. Miyamoto, J. M. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The requirements in automotive lubrication impose more complex lubricant formulation. For environmental issues, it is important to reduce additives containing sulfur and phosphorous compounds. We propose to revisit the lubrication of steel by stearic acid with a new approach combining experimental and molecular simulation techniques. The adsorption mechanism of stearic acid on iron oxide surface is investigated by ultra-accelerated quantum chemistry molecular dynamics simulations. Adsorption experiments are performed followed by in-situ XPS and ex-situ PMIRRAS analyses. The adsorption mechanism occurred through the acid group mainly by chemisorption. Friction behavior of stearic acid with iron oxide is studied. Results suggest that the friction process favors the formation of carboxylate function. The low friction behavior seems to be related to the generation of a SAM strongly bonded to the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalTribology International
Issue numberPA
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb


  • Adsorption
  • Computer simulation
  • Friction
  • Organic friction modifiers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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