In recent years, composite materials have acquired vast potential in the automotive, aerospace, marine and defence sectors due to suitable mechanical and physical properties. On the other hand, these composites limit their application due to the inferior tribological properties. To improve the tribological properties of composite materials, researchers have suggested the introduction of solid lubricants as a reinforcing phase in the matrix phase for the fabrication of composite materials, which will reduce the friction. Apart from different types of solid lubricants, 2D materials such as graphene, WS2, and MoS2 have emerged as novel solid lubricants with a greater potential to reduce friction. The present paper discusses self-lubrication composite materials, types of 2D solid lubricants, and future challenges and opportunities.


Nowadays modern technology demands advanced materials for various applications in automotive, marine, defense, and aerospace sectors. To meet the required demands of modern technology, researchers are focused to develop a new generation of materials with attractive physical and mechanical properties, cost-efficient, abundant life cycle, and environment friendly. Composite materials are such kinds of advanced materials that have the potentials of satisfying the recent demands of engineering applications. Apart from different applications, composites materials leave their footprint in the tribological application where friction is important i.e., engine systems of an automobile. The benefits of improving tribological properties in engines are: reduced fuel consumption, increased engine power output, reduced oil consumption, reduction in harmful exhaust emissions, improved durability, reliability and engine life, reduced maintenance requirements, and longer service intervals. By reducing friction in engine systems, the fuel efficiency can improve significantly which motivates to develop composite materials with self-lubricating properties that can reduce friction in the engine components. The composite materials with self-lubricating properties are popularly known as self-lubricating composite materials. Self-lubricating composite materials are developed by adding solid lubricants in the matrix phase. The addition of solid lubricants as reinforcing elements in the matrix phase emerges as a new material for reducing friction. Common types of additives such as Al2O3 and SiC and common solid lubricants are graphite (Gr), MoS2, WS2, h-BN, and many others are emerged as solid lubricants with greater potential to reduce friction. These solid lubricants form a tribofilms which will help to reduce the friction of the components during the in-service wear of the component. Nowadays, researchers focused their attention on two-dimensional materials as it has shown promising behavior. Among different types of solid lubricants, the most frequently used two-dimensional materials are Boron nitride (BN) and Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). In comparison to other materials, BN and MoS2 presents an excellent performance in tribological and electrical fields, and works as an excellent solid lubricant, giving a low coefficient of friction and high wear resistance.

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