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Krytox™ High Performance Lubricants

Making more with less

To meet higher mileage demands, the auto industry is downsizing the familiar four-cylinder engine to three cylinders—one European automaker now even offers a two-cylinder car. To achieve big-engine performance from these smaller engines, manufacturers are adding turbochargers. One US automaker, in fact, says its 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine actually delivers more power than its previous 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.

But keeping turbochargers running isn’t easy. Spinning at up to 300,000 rpm, turbochargers create more energy and heat in a smaller space. Considering the increased heat and incredibly high turbine rpm, one might expect a turbo to burn out in short order. And without a suitable industrial lubricant, it can.

Fortunately, Krytox™ lubricants function well even in these increasingly harsh environments. Where intense heat might cause a conventional lubricant to break down or burn up, Krytox™ products keep working. Used within its specified temperature range—which, depending on grade, could run as low as -70 °C or as high as 399 °C — Krytox™ lubricant does not degrade or break down in pure nickel containers. Unlike hydrocarbons, it’s non-flammable, and thus can’t burn or carbonize.

As the environment inside the auto engine has become harsher, the environment in the car’s interior has become more inviting. Advanced engine management systems allow engines to run more quietly, and electric motors are quieter still. But this presents a new challenge, as squeaks and creaks previously masked by engine noise become audible to the driver and passengers.

Chemours took note of this new, and very different, challenge faced by the auto industry. You can make something quiet by putting conventional grease on it, but 20,000 miles down the road, that squeak may come back because the grease dried out or soaked into the plastic surrounding it.

Chemours, though, was again able to formulate a fix. “Krytox™ products solve this problem because it doesn’t dry out, it doesn’t degrade, and it stays put for the life of the vehicle, “Apply it once, and it’s good.”

Lubrication at the outer limits

It’s these kinds of properties that allow Krytox™ lubricants to work in an even more punishing environment: aerospace. Used in planes, satellites, and spacecraft, this industrial lubricant is engineered to withstand extreme temperatures, pressure swings, radiation, vacuums, and more.

Advanced aviation comes with a host of demanding conditions, from repeated temperature and pressure cycles to high levels of mechanical stress and long maintenance intervals. Krytox™ lubricant comes into its own when it helps extend the service life of UAV components operating in harsh climates or in the long-lasting lubrication of aircraft fuel pumps and helicopter hydraulic pump splines.

Once you get outside the Earth’s atmosphere, things get even more extreme. Finding a lubricant that works for space suits, for instance, is exceptionally difficult. The suits are pressurized inside but face zero pressure outside in the vacuum of space. Plus, their outer skins may see temperature swings of hundreds of degrees as astronauts move from sunlight to shadow. Because Krytox™ retains its lubricating properties through such a wide temperature range— and because it doesn’t seep out of joints like traditional lubricant—it lets space suits function in this most hostile environment.

Rocket motors face even more hostile conditions. They must deliver colossal amounts of energy while moving from the warmth and pressure of the Earth’s surface to the cold vacuum of space—all the while experiencing incredible vibration. Again, Krytox™ acts as a facilitator, lubricating many of a rocket motor’s moving parts, including the turbines and pumps that deliver fuel and oxygen.

Customizing solutions to meet different challenges

Practically every batch of Krytox™ lubricant is customized for a certain application. It’s available as an oil or grease and in 20 basic variations. But Chemours engineers also work with customers to adjust the lubricant’s characteristics for specific uses and in industries as wide-ranging as food production and space satellite engineering. The formula can be adjusted to provide such properties as corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity; it can be primed to operate in the deep cold of space—or in the broiling heat of a turbocharger.

“Every application is a different problem. “Every kilogram of Krytox™ is different because you’re putting in different additives based on specific needs of the customer. In the case of a turbocharger, the formulation might be different for every model of a car.”

Though technology may advance, it can still be impossible to predict next year’s challenges, let alone those of the year 2030. That’s why we talk to customers

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