In 1942 the Degussa company developed the high-temperature hydrolysis technique for the production of silicon dioxide (SiO2) which initially occurs in the form of melted polymer spheres and is called 'synthetic silicic acid'.
The general level of knowledge about these products was rather low.
Polymeric SiO2 is used in oils for thickening and has a spherical shape. Internally the molecules consist exclusively of SiO2 units. The thickening effect of the polymeric SiO2 molecules in base oils is based on the fact that their free surface silanol groups form intermolecular hydrogen bonds and in this way build up three-dimensional lattice structures. [from “Lubricating greases. Contact &Study”, Vol. 500, Expert Verlag]
30 years ago an international group of scientists – at that time still young – joined forces.
While studying the technical achievements from the era of the ‘emergency economy’, they considered how this technology could be further developed in the era of the ‘new technology’. And so the research into various scientific fields began that ultimately led to the creation of the NanoVit product.
The dimensions of solids (crystals) affect their physical characteristics as well as their chemical potential.
The surface energy of a crystal with a volume of 1 cm3 increases by a factor of 10,000,000 if it is pulverised to a size of 10 nm.
With the reduction in the size of nano-particles, the differences between the solid body model from ‘classic thermodynamics’ and the real nano-particles, in which a division between superficial and spatial state exists only relatively, become larger. At the same time, the capability of the solid nano-particles changes during the intermolecular interaction to macromolecular structuring.
The thermodynamic processes in open systems (which possess the capability to interact with the surrounding medium of matter and energy) and the formation of dissipative structures are based on the principle formulated by the winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry, I. Prigogine: unbalanced processes in open systems can be the starting point of order – a source of self-organisation.
Dissipative structures (which we understand to be the organised state of a system in space and time) are only created with unbalanced processes.
The system can free itself from the state of order by a ‘jump’, i.e. a kinetic phase transition comes into being.
The following dissipative structures exist in well-known open systems:
The nano-powder as a solid dispersed phase in liquid hydrocarbons should possess the following properties:
A ready-formed surface for the physical and chemical absorption.
The NanoVit components SiO2, Al2O3 and amorphous graphite meet the requirements named above.
A classification of dispersed phases and dispersed media according to aggregate state was carried out by the Nobel Laureate W. Ostwald in 1881. Aggregate stability of dispersed systems can be achieved by means of the surface absorption of molecules by the structures in media as they form. This takes place on the basis of electrostatic van der Waals forces and other interactive forces.
The absorption processes of solids in liquid hydrocarbons lead to the creation of structural-mechanical barriers consisting of absorption layers of long chain molecules.
By covering the absorption layers in dispersed media, a structure is created that possesses a certain elasticity and strength. The dimensions, the formation of structures and their strength depend on the excess surface energy, the bipolarity of the particles, their surface charge, chemical composition and the surface state of the particles.
The absorption layers can change themselves into absorptive-salty layers with a portion of polar molecules in the medium as well as in water. This leads to an increase in the structural strength by a factor of up to three.
The presence of organised structures in dispersed systems inevitably leads to a change of the macrophysical characteristic data.
Apart from the structures with the individual parts and aggregates of solid dispersed phases in dispersed systems, macrostructures are created of the colloidal surface-active substances type. In the case of the dispersed structure this results in a surface-cleaning effect.
Activation of the solid-body powder is carried out in order to achieve a long-lasting change in the atomic structure of crystals. An accumulation of punctiform defects is achieved. New surfaces are created as well as new aggregates from different nano-powders, depending on their composition.
The amorphous graphite serves as a buffer for the formation of macro-aggregates and binds the nano-structures of SiO2 and Al2O3 within itself.
The material properties of friction parts have a decisive effect on friction and wear. High demands on elasticity and strength are placed on the friction surfaces of up to several micrometres for all kinds of the mechanical wear.
The friction surfaces are in constant contact with oil, gas particles and abrasive particles. The components are exposed to a constant physical, chemical and mechanical ageing process and change the chemical composition as well as the structure of the substance. The task is to form a constantly active mechanism of modification of friction surfaces which, from their own energetic system and the solid body’s own substance, lead in lubricants to a significant reduction in wear and corrosion and to a renewal of surface defects and reduce friction.
The supply of SI, Al, O and C to the friction surfaces with the formation of oxides and carbides solves this task adequately.
There are three kinds of friction: Dry friction, hydrodynamic friction and boundary friction.
In the case of dry and boundary friction, the coefficient of friction depends on the condition of the friction surfaces, their roughness and the friction force and is directly proportional to the external stress.
In the case of hydrodynamic friction the friction surfaces are separated by the lubricant, whose viscosity affects the friction. The friction surfaces, their speed of movement and the density of the lubricant layer thereby exert a great influence.
The transition from the boundary friction to the hydrodynamic friction (and vice versa) produces a critical thickness of the lubricant layer. Therefore a constant layer thickness of the lubricant guarantees lower friction losses as well as minimal wear of the friction surfaces. The lubricant layer can only form through the sliding ability between the friction surfaces as well as the presence of a supporting force that compensates the external forces.
The sum of the total hydrodynamic force is determined by the friction surface, the viscosity of the lubricant, the speed of the defined friction surfaces and the laws of hydraulics.
The increased viscosity at the friction surfaces, which results from condition-free structuring in the lubricant, significantly spreads the extent (range) of the hydrodynamic friction in engines and mechanical units and reduces their internal losses and wear.
Lubricating oils are manufactured as homogeneous liquid lubricating greases with the broad use of additives.
Experiments took place in the 1980s with the aim of reducing friction and wear by the use of liquid crystals. These tests were inconclusive.
Traditionally it is assumed that the presence of solids in oil is inadmissible.
Nano-dispersed powders up to a size of 20 nm and in a concentration of less than 0.01% should be regarded neither as components of solids nor as abrasive materials.
New properties that change the order and the macro-properties of the oil due to certain thermodynamic conditions are created in the oil as a dispersed system.
In order to extend the service life of oils and to stabilise their lubrication properties, a mechanism must be found that leads directly or indirectly to the regeneration of the molecules in the base oil.
The technical designers of machines direct their attention only to the hydraulic-dynamic operating conditions at the friction parts.
The lubrication system must guarantee a sufficient supply of lubricant to all machine parts as well as its filtering and cooling.
However, the fact is, for example, that the thermodynamic parameters of the friction process are different in different regions of the same engine. The lubricant, however, is the same for each part of the friction zone. The demands on the parameters and properties for nearly every part in the mechanism are different and it would be desirable to adapt these for each friction part.
The lubricating oil used in technical devices and engines is an open and dispersed system. The oil, as a liquid hydrocarbon, is the dispersing agent and the solid nano-powder is the dispersed phase.
Under certain conditions in open systems, the probability exists that dispersed structures will form.
A dispersed structure is a structure in which a certain order prevails. This order exists in time and space, but at the same time also temporally and spatially. It forms itself under the supply of energy from the external and energy dispersion.
Self-organisation results spontaneously but regularly stable, particularly in unstable, non-linear open systems.
So that dissipative structures can form, the following conditions must be satisfied:
The task was to achieve a highly dispersed structure through the use of a mixture of nano-powders in liquid hydrocarbons.
In the case of certain thermodynamic parameters, a self-sufficient structural order is created in the form of nano-particles with their bonds to the molecular medium.
Under the influence of the supply of energy, structures are created in oils that initiate a process of cleaning of the friction surfaces.
The oil adapts itself to the changed thermodynamic conditions in individual friction zones of the same mechanism.
Structures are created that initiate a process of direct and indirect regeneration of the base oil.