A supercharger is a mechanical device that can be added to an engine of a car to increase engine power. It works by sucking air in at atmospheric pressure into the rotors and compressing it at high revolutions per minute. With the rotors spinning at high speeds, the supercharger gears are exposed to high values of friction and wear, which results in a reduction of their service life.
Ionic liquids (ILs) are substances that possess unique lubricating abilities when added to base oil or when used as neat lubricants. Properties include low volatility, non-flammability, as well high thermal resistance. These liquids are able to form ordered layers and tribofilms on the contacting surfaces which further protects the surface materials. In this work, the effect of adding ILs to low viscosity synthetic oil used to lubricate gears and to organic oil was investigated in the reduction of friction and overall wear of superchargers. Mobil 1 5W-30 Full Synthetic Engine Oil (MS) was used as a control and compared to coffee bean oil (CB). Additionally, the performance of these oils was observed with ionic liquids as additives at 1 wt. %. The chosen IL consisted of the cation Trihexyltetradecylphosphonium, [P6,6,6,14]+, with the anion Bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) amide, [NTf2]−. Lubricated flat disks of AISI 52100 stainless steel and 420C steel balls were studied using a Pin-on-Disk configuration. A total sliding distance of 500 meters was tested with a wear track diameter of 20 mm. Wear volume and average friction coefficient were measured according to ASTM-G99. Results showed that the addition of the ILs to the CB and MS reduced friction coefficient of the steel disks at medium speeds, and wear values achieved were comparable to the friction observed. The wear width values were also found to be reduced at medium speeds.