Efficient tribological properties of azomethine-functionalized chitosan as a bio-lubricant additive in paraffin oil: experimental and theoretical analysis†
A simple condensation of chitosan (from shrimp shells) and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde was performed to yield bio-lubricant additive comprised of azomethine functional groups to be used with paraffin lube oil in industries. The synthesized Schiff base derivative of chitosan (SBC) additive was characterized using a CHN analyzer and FT-IR spectroscopy, and the thermal stability was explored using thermogravimetry. The rheological properties of SBC additives in paraffin oil were studied and are discussed herein. The tribological properties of SBC were tested in paraffin as the base oil employing a four-ball tester with different experimental conditions (viz. the concentration of the additive, applied load, speed and time duration), following ASTM D4172A standards. The optimum concentration of the additive in the base oil was found to be 150 ppm, exhibiting minimum coefficient of friction, but with higher concentrations of additive in base oils, the coefficient of friction increased. UV-Vis spectroscopy studies were also performed to confirm the formation of SBC and dispersion stability. The determined tribological parameters, such as the coefficient of friction, mean wear scar diameters and mean wear scar volumes, were found to significantly reduce the coefficient of friction of paraffin oil upon the addition of SBC. The state of steel balls upon exposure to various experimental conditions was analyzed and explained based on outcomes from FESEM, EDX, ferrography and AFM spectroscopy. The insights into interactions of the synthesized SBC with the metal surface were explored using ab initio density functional theory, Fukui indices, molecular dynamics simulation and radial distribution function.