Dry/solid lubricants are materials that reduce the friction between two sliding surfaces, without the requirement of any liquid medium. The four most commonly used dry lubricants are hexagonal boron nitride, molybdenum disulfide, graphite, and tungsten disulfide. Dry lubricants offer lubrication at higher temperatures, as compared to oil-based and liquid lubricants. They are frequently utilized in applications such as dry lubricated bearings or locks. Dry lubricants can easily operate in temperatures up to 350°C in oxidizing environments and at higher temperatures in reducing / non-oxidizing environments. The low-frictional characteristic of a majority of dry/solid lubricants is generally ascribed to a layered microscopic structure of dry lubricants, which have a weak bond between them. These layers have the ability to slip over each other on the application of minimal force, thus offering low frictional properties. Apart from the layered structure, there are also a few other solids with non-lamellar structures, such as silver, lead, polytetrafluoroethylene, tin, some solid oxides, indium, rare-earth fluorides, and even diamond that can function as dry/solid lubricants in some applications.
Rising demand for dry lubricants is primarily ascribed to its superior properties such as low friction and high temperature resistance. Moreover, they are being widely employed in various end-user application sectors such as electric & electronics, industrial, and transportation. The transportation sector witnesses a prominent demand for dry lubricants due to their high lubrication property, even at higher temperatures. The electrical equipment sector also witnesses an increase in application of dry lubricants primarily due to the higher conductivity of dry lubricants. These lubricating solids possess better adhesion than unfortified oils, thereby reducing the cost of maintenance.
The dry lubricants market can be segmented based on material type, bonding method, application, and region. In terms of material type, the dry lubricants market can be divided into graphite, boron nitride, molybdenum disulfide, soft metal solid lubricants, PTFE, and others. Based on bonding method, the dry lubricants market can be segregated into vacuum sputtering, dip application, mechanical impingement, burnishing, and spray resin bonding. Based on application, the dry lubricants market can be classified into steel industry, oil & gas, mining & mineral processing industry, water & food processing, automobile, and petrochemical industry.
Based on region, the global dry lubricants market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific dominated the dry lubricants market in 2016, closely followed by North America and Europe. The region is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. Currently, China accounts for majority major share of the dry lubricants market in the region. The country is anticipated to remain a prominent market for dry lubricants during the forecast period. This can be primarily ascribed to the rapid industrialization and increasing demand from electronic applications industries in the country.
Furthermore, Asia Pacific is the leading manufacturer and consumer of graphite-based dry lubricant. The graphite-based lubricant segment dominates the market in India and China owing to the presence of major manufacturers in these countries, thereby providing optimum contribution to the global dry lubricant market. North America is the second largest consumer of dry lubricants. Demand for dry lubricants in the region is primarily owing to the large industrial and automotive applications in the region. The dry lubricants market in Middle East & Africa and Europe is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace in the next few years. This is primarily due to the increasing industrialization and higher rate of adoption of dry lubricants in these regions in the respective regions.
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Key players operating in the global dry lubricants market include 3M, Henkel, Dow Corning, DuPont, Castrol-Lubecon, Sun Coating Company, Freudenberg (OSK), Surcom Industries (DYNACRON), Everlube, CHP, B’laster, Metal Coatings Corp, and SKF.