Tribochemistry of Bismuth and Bismuth Salts for Solid Lubrication

P. Gonzalez Rodriguez, Karin Jacqueline Huberta van den Nieuwenhuijzen, W. Lette, Dirk J. Schipper, Johan E. ten Elshof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


One of the main trends in the past decades is the reduction of wastage and the replacement of toxic compounds in industrial processes. Some soft metallic particles can be used as nontoxic solid lubricants in high-temperature processes. The behavior of bismuth metal particles, bismuth sulfide (Bi2S3), bismuth sulfate (Bi2(SO4)3), and bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) as powder lubricants was studied in a range of temperatures up to 580 °C. The mechanical behavior was examined using a high-temperature pin-on-disc setup, with which the friction force between two flat-contact surfaces was recorded. The bismuth-lubricated surfaces showed low coefficients of friction (μ ≈ 0.08) below 200 °C. Above the melting temperature of the metal powder at 271 °C, a layer of bismuth oxide developed and the friction coefficient increased. Bismuth oxide showed higher friction coefficients at all temperatures. Bismuth sulfide exhibited partial oxidation upon heating but the friction coefficient decreased to μ ≈ 0.15 above 500 °C, with the formation of bismuth oxide-sulfate, while some bismuth sulfate remained. All surfaces were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), confocal microscopy, high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). This study reveals how the partial oxidation of bismuth compounds at high temperatures affects their lubrication properties, depending on the nature of the bismuth compound.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7601-7606
Number of pages6
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • METIS-316632
  • IR-101160
  • 2023 OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Tribochemistry of Bismuth and Bismuth Salts for Solid Lubrication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this