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a component where molybdenum disulfide may be used to provide hardness for wear resistance

molybdenum coatings

Molybdenum Disulfide

Nature’s Superlubricant with Excellent Shear Strength

Molybdenum Coatings

The Economical Way to Lubricate

Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) coatings are an innovative solution in surface technology, primarily known for their exceptional lubricating properties and shear strength. This material is derived from molybdenite ore, which after processing, offers a low-friction surface that is especially valuable in harsh, high-load environments. The demand for MoS2 coatings has grown due to their ability to reduce wear and minimize friction without the need for additional lubricants.
Armoloy's molybdenum disulfide coating works well under high pressure and low speed, where galling is the principal reason for failure. For instance, they are used in automotive, aerospace, and military applications to enhance the durability and performance of moving parts. The coatings function by allowing the transfer of lubricant materials between contact surfaces, significantly reducing the risk of wear and mechanical failure under high loads.
molybdenum disulfide coating used on photovoltaic panels

Beyond Industrial Uses and Benefits

From high-tech electronics to environmental cleanup, MoS2 coatings enhance performance across diverse applications.

Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) coatings offer a fascinating array of properties that extend their utility beyond mere lubrication. These coatings are notable for their electrical and thermal conductivity, making them suitable for semiconductor and electronic applications where they can handle high operational temperatures effectively. Furthermore, the optical properties of MoS2 are particularly beneficial in photonic devices like photodetectors and LEDs due to its ability to exhibit a direct bandgap when reduced to a monolayer.

Additionally, MoS2’s versatile nature finds applications in environmental and biomedical fields. It serves as a catalyst in water and air purification technologies and shows promise in photocatalytic applications aimed at environmental cleanup. In the biomedical sector, MoS2 is explored for uses in drug delivery systems and biosensors due to its biocompatibility and functional surface characteristics. Its robustness under extreme conditions also makes it ideal for use in space exploration, where traditional lubricants fail, and in industrial equipment subjected to high pressures and temperatures.

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Molybdenum Disulfide Highlights

  • Excellent lubrication
  • High thermal stability
  • Versatility in applications
  • Direct bandgap in monolayer form
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Chemical stability

Proven applications

MoS2 can improve the long-term performance of all the following industry-specific applications and more.

  • Microelectronics
  • Photovoltaics
  • Firearms
  • Fuel cell components
  • Automotive
  • Sliding applications
  • Vacuum systems
  • Defense

Performance Characteristics

Molybdenum Disulfide by the Numbers

  • Coefficient of friction as low as 0.04
  • 250,000 PSI
  • Shear strength 25.3 MPa
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  • Thickness range of .0002"-.0004"
  • Processing temperature <200°F
  • 500°F max working temperature
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Molybdenum Disulfide Features & Benefits

Exceptional lubricity

A very low 0.04 CoF helps in reducing wear and friction significantly

High load bearing capacity

MoS2 coatings can withstand extreme pressures, often exceeding 250,000 psi, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications.

Temperature resistance

Standard MoS2 coatings can endure up to 500°F, with special formulations capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 1000°F


MoS2 can be applied to a wide range of substrates, including metals and some non-metallic surfaces

Environmental resistance

The coatings are resistant to oxidation and degradation, maintaining their integrity in various environmental conditions


As a dry lubricant, MoS2 reduces the need for liquid lubricants, which can be pollutant, thus contributing to greener mechanical processes

Direct bandgap in monolayer form

In its single-layer form, MoS2 exhibits a direct bandgap, which is advantageous for optoelectronic applications like transistors and sensors

Economical corrosion guard

MoS2 is a cost-effective coating add-on for extra corrosion control

The Science Behind Molybdenum Disulfide

molybdenum disulfide 3d illustration

The underlying science of MoS2 involves its unique molecular structure, which consists of layers of molybdenum atoms sandwiched between layers of sulfur atoms. This structure is similar to graphite, with weak van der Waals forces holding the layers together, allowing them to slide over each other easily, thus providing the low-friction properties. MoS2 exists in various crystalline forms, which can be semiconducting or metallic, depending on their symmetry and the number of layers present. These properties make MoS2 an attractive option not only for coatings but also for potential applications in electronics and optoelectronics.

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How Metals Fail

Some of the most common metal failures include:

Armoloy’s different metal coating solutions help industries avoid costly metal failures and unplanned downtime.

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