Nanotech Industrial Solutions Corp is the first to succeed in commercially producing multi-layered, spherical and tubular nanostructures from inorganic materials. The first inorganic compound synthesized by NanoMaterials (NIS’ subsidiary) into multi-layered, spherical and tubular shapes is tungsten disulfide (WS₂). These particles have notably high pressure, impact and heat resistance. They have low toxicity and high shock absorbing properties. These properties, in appropriate formulations, can facilitate the creation of “super performing” lubricants, coatings, and polymer composites. Benefits of which include:

Better performance under extreme conditions

Better impact resistance

Greater energy efficiency

User-safe and environmentally friendly

Superior capacity to extend the life and effective operation of working mechanisms

Reduced downtime and cost of ownership

Novel Inorganic Fullerene-like Submicron Particles

NIS’ technology platform can produce extremely uniform and highly symmetrical spherical structures, composed of dozens of concentric layers of inorganic compounds. The diameter of the primary particle can range between 120 – 280 nm. These multi-layered particles are extremely thermal- and pressure-resistant. Additionally, their outer layers exfoliate under extreme pressure, bonding with working surfaces to fill in wear asperities and to create a continuous super lubricating coating layer. The field of lubricants was thus a natural first application for these inorganic nano-fullerenes. As “super lubrication agents”, WS₂ nano-fullerenes have proven their capacity to reduce wear by up to 30 %, depending on the base oil and working conditions. It has also been proven that the tribological efficiency of NIS WS₂ nano fullerenes actually increases with contact pressure.

What is a Fullerene?

The name “fullerenes” or “buckyballs” came from the architectural modeler Richard Buckminster Fuller, who popularized the geodesic dome.  NIS’s particles are called Inorganic Fullerene-like (IF), because of the spherical geometry and hollow core – similar to carbon fullerenes. Inorganic Fullerene-like submicron particles (IF-MXy where M- is transition metal and X – is chalcogen group) were discovered by Professor Reshef Tenne at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The technology is exclusively licensed to NIS for commercialization worldwide.

What are the Differences Between Platelet MoS₂ (Moly) Particles and Fullerene-like IF-WS₂ Particles?

Regular hexagonal 2H-MoS₂, 2H-WS₂, graphite, Boron Nitride, etc. are platelet type particles, or in other words, are flat. In 2H-MoS₂ or 2H-WS₂ (general formula 2H-MXy) each metal atom is covalently bonded to six chalcogen atoms (Sulfur in this case). Stacking of each planar layer together (X-M-X) achieved via weak Van der Waals forces.

On the other hand, Fullerene-like particles IF-WS₂ have spherical geometry. They can be called 3D particles and, thanks to their unique morphology, these particles have significant structure benefits in extreme applications. They act as:

  • tiny ball bearings (rotation)
  • nano shock absorbents (due to the hollow core)
  • surface smoothing nano solids (covering surface irregularities)

How do Inorganic Fullerene-like Particles Work?

Compared with commercially available platelet form of WS₂ (2H-WS₂) the main advantages of Inorganic Fullerene-like submicron particles (IF-WS₂) are:

  • True submicron size: IF-WS₂ particles are in the range of 120-280 nm; 2H-WS are usually in the range of several microns (1-5 µm)
  • IF-WS₂ have a closed structure that makes these particles chemically stable
  • IF-WS₂’s spherical geometry with hollow core provides high impact resistance (up to 35 GPa) and acts as a damper at applications with high loads and impact
  • IF-WS₂ particles smooth surface, healing roughness irregularities and filling in asperities

Inorganic Multi-Layered Nanotubes

Using the same platform technology, NIS also produces WS₂ multi-layered nano-tubes (INT WS₂). They have low defect densities and are highly uniform, thus offering far better dispersibility than carbon nanotubes.
The mechanical properties of NIS’ nano-tubes include ultra-high-strength modulus and pressure resistance – both dynamic (‘shock’), and quasi-static. These multi-layered nano-tubes can be used in composites with various matrices (polymeric and non-polymeric), increasing the wear resistance of the host matrices while improving their mechanical and thermal properties.




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