Friction and contact temperature in dry rolling-sliding contacts with MoS2-bonded and a-C:H:Zr DLC coatings

Stefan Hofmann, Mustafa Yilmaz, Enzo Maier, Thomas Lohner, Karsten Stahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Gearboxes are usually lubricated with oil or grease to reduce friction and wear and to dissipate heat. However, gearbox applications that cannot be lubricated with oil or grease, for example in the space or food industry, are commonly lubricated with solid lubricants. Especially solid lubricants with a lamellar sliding mechanism like graphite and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) or diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings can enable very low coefficients of friction. This study investigates the friction and temperature behavior of surface coatings in rolling-sliding contacts for the application in dry lubricated gears. In an experimental setup on a twin-disk test rig, case-hardened steel 16MnCr5E (AISI5115) is considered as substrate material together with an amorphous, hydrogenated, and metal-containing a-C:H:Zr DLC coating (ZrCg) and a MoS2-bonded coating (MoS2-BoC). The friction curves show reduced coefficients of friction and a significantly increased operating area for both surface coatings. Due to the sufficient electrical insulation of the MoS2-BoC, the application of thin-film temperature measurement-known from lubricated contacts-was successfully transfered to dry rolling-sliding contacts. The results of the contact temperature measurements reveal pronounced thermal insulation with MoS2-BoC, which can interefere the sliding mechanism of MoS2 by accelerated oxidation. The study shows that the application of dry lubricated gears under ambient air conditions is challenging as the tribological and thermal behavior requires tailored surface coatings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • DLC
  • Dry lubrication
  • MoS
  • Solid lubricants
  • Thin film sensors


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