Knowledge Base. Molybdenum Disulphide

MOLYBDENUM DISULPHIDE POWDER

Molybdenum disulphide powder
Moly dispersions are often applied by aerosol spray

Molybdenum disulphide powder (often known as “Moly Powder”) is a refined and ground form of naturally occurring molybdenum ore. Depending on the conditions that are used in the grinding process, there are several different grades of this material. Furthermore, different grades exhibit different physical or chemical properties. In particular, the particle size and the acid number can vary to a significant degree.

Unlike graphite, molybdenum disulphide is an intrinsic solid lubricant. In dry coating applications, graphite will not lubricate without adsorbed water molecules between its graphene sheets. By contrast, molybdenum disulphide has a larger spacing between its planar sheets, allowing them to slide past each other. Consequently, it is a solid boundary lubricant powder that works even at high altitude or in the vacuum of space.

Formulators select the grade of molybdenum disulphide powder that is most appropriate to its end use. For instance, a factory that is moulding metal parts at relatively low temperatures would select a small particle size. The resulting coating is more even than that of a large particle size grade. Consequently, the surface finish of the moulded part is smoother. Similarly, forensic scientists use a very small particle size in finger print analysis in order to faithfully reproduce fine detail. Moreover, other considerations in determining which grade to use include the cost/performance benefits, and the acid number.

WHAT ARE THE USES OF MOLYBDENUM DISULPHIDE POWDER?

Industrial applications utilise Molybdenum disulphide powder, primarily, as an extreme pressure (EP) solid lubricant, in the following ways:

  • Aerosol spray dry-film lubricant.
  • Plastics additive.
  • Boundary lubricant dispersion in Industrial EP oils.
  • Forging lubricant.
  • Aerospace lubricant.
  • Glass mould release/anti-flock agent.
  • Fingerprint analysis.

While some of the above applications use this material in powder form, others use a stabilized dispersion in a suitable carrier fluid or medium.

Fingerprint molybdenum disulphide powder
Fingerprint analysis uses a super fine grade

SOLID LUBRICANT DISPERSIONS

Speciality plastics manufacturers and masterbatch makers use molybdenum disulphide powder by dispersing them directly into polymer materials. However, industrial lubricant blenders, hot metal working professionals, and container glass manufacturers use molybdenum disulphide dispersions. Due to settling and the difficulties of keeping moly powders suspended in a liquid, it would be much more difficult for these industries to use molybdenum disulphide powder. Moreover, using a stabilized dispersion eliminates issues with dust in the atmosphere and the need for specialized extraction and personal protective equipment.

Brad-Chem have developed dispersions of molybdenum disulphide powder in various carrier fluids. We offer mineral oil dispersions for ease of adding dispersion stabilized moly powder to mineral oil based industrial lubricants. For manufacturers of release sprays and anti-friction coatings, we supply a dispersion in a quick drying solvent mixture with binder for dry-film aerosol spray coating. We also offer a dispersion in water; metal forging and forming customers use either this type or our oil based dispersions for a wide variety of applications.

Brad-Chem is the distributor for Climax Molybdenum and, therefore, we supply the highest quality technical grade, technical fine, and superfine grades of molybdenum disulphide powder. Furthermore, since we use Climax molybdenum disulphide powder in our dispersions, the dispersions we manufacture contain the highest quality of moly powder.

If you want to learn more about our range of Climax Molybdenum products, see our Climax principal’s page or contact us and ask to speak to our Technical team.