Solid or Dry Film Lubricant

Highlights:

  • Solid film lubricants offer protection in a wider range of conditions than oil can
  • Solid film lubricated surfaces are dry, which reduces contamination and corrosion
  • Surfaces often require preparation prior to application per specification requirements
  • MIL holds numerous approvals for solid film lubricant application

DFL

Part with Dry Film Lubricant


Many aerospace primes, and leaders in other industries, are requiring use of Solid Film Lubricants for the protection of parts instead of using oil as a lubricant. Parts exposed to extreme conditions including low to high speed, temperature, and pressure application have in the past been coated with traditional protective fluid films like oil and grease. So why switch? These traditional films only offer protection under a more narrow range of conditions and do not necessarily hold up with adequate film formation for as long as the parts are exposed. Alternatively, applying a permanent coating of dry or solid film lubricant to the interacting surfaces ensures that your part will be protected from continuing exposure and friction.

Solid film lubricants come in many common types such as Teflon®, Molybdenum, and Tungsten Disulfide that were discovered to have been in use dating as far back as antiquity and in 14th century Japan. Many components occur naturally with easy shearing tendencies and an attraction to metallic surfaces. When applied, they form a lattice of structured layers that does not occur with the application of oils and greases. The resulting coating is much more reliable in reducing shear forces between surfaces like sliding shafts and threads.

Because this type of lubrication is cured or allowed to air dry, it offers a protective layer that will not readily become contaminated like an oil would when put into service in the field. Parts that have not yet been put into service will also be protected with the application of anti-seizing solid film lubricants. You may have noticed that storage conditions may lead to damage from seizing. This occurs because interacting surfaces that remain immobile for a long period of time often “stick,” which can result in damage when forced apart. A further benefit is that the dry surface acts as a barrier from moisture to prevent corrosion, oxidation and rust. This is enhanced by the fact that many soild film lubricant specifications require an additional cleaning process prior to application. Degreasing, blasting, or passivation are commonly used as preparation for optimal coating adhesion and effectiveness.

MIL offers a number of solid film lubricants with prime approvals including approvals from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Honeywell. As a job shop, MIL can also perform the additional cleaning services required per specification. For parts that will be exposed to extreme conditions, either functionally or environmentally, Magnetic Inspection Laboratory and solid film lubricant offer what you need to far surpass other types of lubricants.

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