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Area 1 - Lubricants and Interface Mechanisms

Lubricants and Interface Mechanisms

The vision of the research area “Lubricants and Interface Mechanisms ” is to measure, understand, and to control lubricant as well as fuel behaviour over time. Alteration – which comprises all physical-chemical changes of bulk properties and additive surface interactions over time at application conditions – plays here an important role. Consequently, the main research activities can be summarised as follows:

  • In-depth understanding of lubricant and fuel alteration in different scales

    • macro-scale, e.g., sludge and deposits
    • micro-scale, e.g., soot and water droplets
    • colloidal and molecular level, e.g., lubricant oxidation and additive depletion

  • Recommending formulations of lubricants, fuels and surfaces also proposing upcoming technologies, e.g., ionic liquids, nano-particles, “green” lubricants and fuels

  • Designing reliable oil condition sensor systems based on multi-parameter sensor arrays


Fundamental research in so-called Strategic Research Projects makes intense use of high-end analytical methods then further implemented in Multi-Firm Projects:

the Orbitrap mass spectrometer (MS) is successfully applied for the elucidation of lubricant deterioration mechanisms where – unexpectedly – a disulfide from antioxidant oxidation could be identified.

A small-spot X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) is used for the characterisation of the composition of tribochemical reaction layers.


Research with the industry is organised in five multi-firm projects:

  • Engine oils – impact of fuel quality on engine oil performance
  • Industrial lubricants – alteration mechanisms and oil sensors
  • Gear oils and transmission fluids – additive efficiency
  • Innovative lubricants – ionic liquids and nano-particles
  • Fuels – influence of bio-components in future fuels on lubricity


Video oil-alteration

Management and coordination

Area-manager:

MSc Marcella Patricia Frauscher

Organisation: AC2T research GmbH

Area-coordinator:

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Günter Allmaier

Organisation: Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics