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PurposeThis paper aims to explore polyaniline (PANI) as a lubricant additive to improve the anti-corrosion and tribological properties of ionic liquids (ILs) for actual applications.Design/methodology/approachILs were synthesized by dissolving lithium salts in synthetic oil and were used as a base oil to prepare ILs-based greases. PANI was used as an additive. The tribological properties were investigated in detail and the anti-corrosion ability was also assessed via salt spray test. After friction test, the worn surfaces were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to analyze the lubrication mechanisms.FindingsPANI not only reduces the corrosion but also improves the friction reduction and anti-wear abilities of the ILs-based greases. The analysis indicates that the protective films generated on the worn surfaces were responsible for the preferable anti-corrosion and tribological properties.Originality/valueThis paper provides an effective approach to improve the anti-corrosion and tribological properties of ILs for actual applications.Peer reviewThe peer review history for this article is available at:


Cao, Zhengfeng;  Xia, Yanqiu;  Chen, Chuan;  Zheng, Kai;  Zhang, Yi

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