Synthesis of zinc borate by inverse emulsion technique for lubrication
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Lubricating oil additives based on boron compounds are promising materials for lubrication due to their tribological advantages such as antiwear efficiency, good film strength, and high temperature resistance. This article deals with the preparation of zinc borate particles that are well dispersed and colloidally stabilized in mineral oil. This method starts with preparing two inverse emulsions (water-in-oil) with sorbitan monostearate (Span 60) as a surfactant, light neutral oil as a continuous phase, and the aqueous solutions of borax decahydrate (Na2B4O7·10H 2O) and zinc nitrate (Zn(NO3)2·6H 2O) as the dispersed phases. The produced particles were zinc borate crystals having both rod-like and spherical morphologies, and the diameters of spherical particles were changing between 20 and 30 nm. FTIR spectra of the obtained particles showed the characteristic peaks of trihedral borate (B(3)-O) and tetrahedral borate (B(4)-O) groups as well as the specific peaks of the sorbitan monostearate. TG showed 30.42% and 22.08% mass loss at 600 °C for the samples prepared by inverse emulsion and precipitation techniques, respectively. The endothermic peak at 50 °C is observed due to the melting of sorbitan monostearate and the heat of melting is evaluated as -3.50 J/g. Tribological studies revealed that sorbitan monostearate not only outperformed as a dispersing agent of inorganic particles, but also it proved to be an anti-wear agent. Zinc borate produced by precipitation decreased the wear scar diameter from 1.402 to 0.639 mm and the friction coefficient from 0.099 to 0.064. The inverse emulsion was effective in decreasing wear scar diameter and the friction coefficient by lowering them to 0.596 and 0.089 mm, respectively.