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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2023, Volume 18, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11465-023-0755-1

Application of MoS in the space environment: a review

Available online: 0000-00-00

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A considerable portion of space mechanism failures are related to space tribological problems. Cold welding in high vacuum; surface erosion and collision damage caused by various radiations, high temperature oxidation under atomic oxygen (AO) bombardment; and thermal stress caused by temperature alternation all alter the physical, chemical, and friction properties of materials. In particular, the space vibration caused by alternating temperatures and microgravity environments can alter the motion of the contact body, further affecting its friction properties. Improving the friction properties of contact surfaces in the space environment is an important way to extend the service life of spacecraft. Traditional lubricants can no longer meet the lubrication requirements of the space environment. This study describes the characteristics of the space environment and the applications of solid lubricants. The friction properties of MoS2, a solid lubricant widely used in space, are discussed. The synergistic lubrication of MoS2 with surface textures or metals is presented. Advances in research on the friction properties of collision sliding contacts in the space environment are reviewed. The combination of MoS2 and soft metals with surface textures is introduced to reduce the effects of vibration environments on the friction properties of moving parts in space mechanisms. Finally, the challenges and future research interests of MoS2 films in space tribology are presented.

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