The life of an automotive engine is often limited by the ability of its components to resist wear. Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) is an engine oil additive that reduces wear in an engine by forming solid antiwear films at points of moving contact. The effects of this additive are fairly well understood, but there is little theory linking the kinetics of the tribo-film chemistry with rates of film formation and removal. This lack of dynamic modeling makes it difficult to predict the effects of wear at the design stage for an engine component or a lubricant formulation. The purpose of this research is to develop a framework for an engineering model for the formation and evolution of ZDDP antiwear films based on the relevant chemical pathways and physical mechanisms at work.

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