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Volume 4, Issue 4


Improving the tribological behavior of internal combustion engines via the addition of nanoparticles to engine oils

Mohamed Kamal Ahmed Ali
  • Corresponding author
  • Hubei Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Automotive Components, Wuhan University of Technology, 430070 Wuhan, China
  • Faculty of Engineering, Automotive and Tractors Engineering Department, Minia University, 61111 El-Minia, Egypt
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Hou Xianjun
  • Hubei Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Automotive Components, Wuhan University of Technology, 430070 Wuhan, China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-07-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2015-0031


The friction between two sliding surfaces is probably one of the oldest problems in mechanics. Frictional losses in any I.C. engine vary between 17% and 19% of the total indicated horse power. The performance of internal combustion engines in terms of frictional power loss, fuel consumption, oil consumption, and harmful exhaust emissions is closely related to the friction force and wear between moving parts of the engine such as piston assembly, valve train, and bearings. To solve this problem, most modern research in the area of Nanotribology (Nanolubricants) aims to improve surface properties, reduce frictional power losses, increase engine efficiency, and reduce consumed fuel and cost of maintenance. Nanolubricants contain different nanoparticles such as Cu, CuO, TiO2, Ag, Al2O3, diamond, and graphene oxide. This paper demonstrates the effect of nanoparticles on the tribological behavior of the engine oil. The main objective of this review is to present recent progress and, consequently, develop an exhaustive understanding about the tribological behavior of engine oils mixed with nanoparticles.

Keywords: boundary lubrication; engine oils; nanoparticle additives; nanotribology; solid lubricants


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About the article

Mohamed Kamal Ahmed Ali

Mohamed Kamal received his BSc degree in Automotive Engineering with distinction and with an honor’s degree from Minia University, Egypt, in 2009. He received his MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering (Tribology) from the same University in 2013. Currently, he is a PhD student under the guidance of Professor Hou Xianjun in the Hubei Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Automotive Components (Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China). His research interests focus on improving the performance in internal combustion engines via nano-tribology.

Hou Xianjun

Hou Xianjun is a professor in the School of Automotive Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China. He is also a staff member of the Hubei Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Automotive Components. His research interests include the areas of nano-tribology in engines, engine performance and emission control technologies, new energy vehicles and power plants.

Corresponding author: Mohamed Kamal Ahmed Ali, Hubei Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Automotive Components, Wuhan University of Technology, 430070 Wuhan, China; and Faculty of Engineering, Automotive and Tractors Engineering Department, Minia University, 61111 El-Minia, Egypt, e-mail:

Received: 2015-05-19

Accepted: 2015-06-08

Published Online: 2015-07-23

Published in Print: 2015-08-01

Citation Information: Nanotechnology Reviews, Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 347–358, ISSN (Online) 2191-9097, ISSN (Print) 2191-9089, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2015-0031.

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