Unique "slippery ceramics" was obtained at the Tomsk Scientific Center

At the Department for Structural Macrokinetics of TSC SB RAS a superhard ceramic powder material ("slippery ceramics") - aluminomagnesium boride AlMgB14 was developed.

It has unique physical and mechanical properties: in its hardness (~ 32 GPa) AlMgB14 is inferior only to diamond and boron nitride and has an extra low coefficient of friction (~ 0.02, for comparison the friction coefficient is 0.04 - 0.1for teflon and 0.16for well lubricated steel). Other properties that make this material promising include high resistance to abrasion and erosion, high chemical inertness and thermal resistance. “Due to the set of properties, this material is called "slippery ceramics": low coefficient of friction makes it more slippery, even more than teflon”, explained Olga Klavdievna Lepakova, senior reseacher, TSC SB RAS. “When AlMgB14 is applied to various bearings and parts, their friction coefficient will be reduced many times, in other words, the operation of mechanisms with such a coating will go like clockwork!”

This material is new, and obtaining such a material is a new direction for Russia. Slippery ceramics has wide implementation prospects. The material can be used as a composite anti-wear additive, as well as a raw material for lubricating and wear-resistant coatings operating under extreme conditions. Coatings based on AlMgB14 can be widely used in all friction joints, such as bearings, pump shafts, turbines, cutting tools, drills.

It is worth noting that they can also be in demand in military engineering, for example, for the manufacture of bearings and shafts for submarines to significantly reduce noise. Also, the developed material, due to its low density and high hardness, can find practical application as a material for armor protection.

The industrial application of superhard materials with low friction coefficient will have a positive effect on the efficiency of various industries, as it will provide energy savings and reduce noise of equipment, turbines and pumps.