New ZIM project on vacuum lubricants approved

In March, we received the grant notification for a new ZIM cooperation project with the company Materiales in Hamburg. The aim will be to develop novel lubricants for vacuum and cleanroom applications based on ionic liquids and to test them under application conditions.

Knud-Ole Karlson and Andreas Keller will work on this highly interesting project on the KTM side.

Possible Ionic Liquids

In the present R&D project, the innovative objective is to develop a novel high-performance lubricant product line (oils, greases, assembly pastes). They are based on ionic liquids and the addition of specific micro- or nanoparticles adapted in the formulation, as well as salts for use in applications where their negligible vapor pressure plays an important role. These lubricants are urgently needed for clean room and high vacuum applications (e.g. pharmaceutical, aerospace, chip manufacturing).

The aim of this scientific project is to improve energy efficiency and minimize friction and wear in tribological systems, such as rolling bearings, plain bearings, linear guides or spindle drives under clean room or high vacuum conditions, and to increase the reliability and service life of the systems.

In addition, the R&D project aims to develop a novel application-oriented test methodology and test technology for the scientifically accurate assessment and verifiability of the effect of ionic liquids on tribological systems in cleanrooms and high vacuum. Here, KTM will develop a new modular component test rig for application-oriented testing in a vacuum.

Sketch of the test bench concept