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Could graphene save your air compressor?

 
You know graphene. It’s the flexible, carbon based material that’s 200 times stronger than steel, yet is just one atom thick (thereby also making it the world’s only 2D material). Now, researchers at the US’s Purdue University have developed a new type of non-liquid lubricant that uses graphene to reduce friction and wear.

As The Engineer reports, the lubricant’s applications range from missile systems to air compressors. Whilst we’re not any sort of authority on missile systems, the air compressor benefits look exciting.

“It [graphene] has superior thermal conductivity, high strength and provides ultralow friction,” said Vilas Pol, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University.

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Friction is a perennial problem in compressed air. It’s there in the motor bearings. And it’s present in every hose, nozzle, joint and connector as the molecules of compressed air rub against the metal or plastic around them.

Remove friction and you remove heat and wear. You also reduce the amount of oil required as a lubricant in many current compressed air systems. Which means graphene could be the key to improving air compressor performance and reliability, whilst removing the risk of oil contamination from finished products.

As graphene lubricants may be some years away from commercial air compressor application, talk to us about the compressed air system that’s right for your business. Call Algar Air on 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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