To improve performance of machine components, lubrication is one of the most important factors. Especially for use in extreme environments, researchers look for other solutions rather than common lubricant base stocks like mineral oils or vegetable oils. One such example is ionic liquids. Ionic liquids have been defined as molten salts with melting points below 100
C that are entirely ionic in nature, comprising both cationic and anionic species. The industrial use of ionic liquids is mostly as solvents, electrolytes, extractants and catalysts. In tribological applications, ionic liquids are mainly studied in boundary lubrication and in pure sliding contacts. In this work, the elastohydrodynamic performance of a bio-based, non-corrosive, [choline][l
-proline] ionic liquid is evaluated in terms of pressure-viscosity response, film forming capability and friction. The results show a pressure-viscosity coefficient of below 8 GPa
C, among the lowest reported for any ionic liquid. The ionic liquid generated up to 70% lower friction than a reference paraffin oil with a calculated difference in film thickness of 11%. It was also shown that this ionic liquid is very hygroscopic, which is believed to explain part of the low friction results, but also has to be considered in practical applications since the water content will influence the properties and thus the performance of the lubricant.
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