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Two red and white heavy duty trucks using friction modifiers driving on a country road

Friction modifiers

We have developed a range of novel organic polymer friction modifiers which offer significant benefits when compared with existing similar organic friction modifiers. 

Friction modifiers are molecules that can change the frictional properties of a substrate. Friction modifiers are most commonly used in lubricants including industrial and automotive oils, where they are used to reduce the friction between metal surfaces. Friction modifiers interact with the metal surface to reduce friction. Inorganic friction modifiers chemically react with the metallic surface while organic friction modifiers, like the solutions we offer, work by physical adsorption to the surface. 

Shiny truck gearbox

What are common friction modifier chemistries? 

Friction modifiers can be created from many different classes of chemistries. There are three main types used in lubricants: inorganic, organic and organic polymeric. The table below compares these three classes.  

Friction modifier class Examples  Pros  Cons
MoDTC (molybdenum dithiocarbamate); ZDDP (Zinc dialkyldithiophosphates) Excellent sliding friction reduction Depletes in use: friction reduction potentially lost in aged oil, requires higher temperatures to activate than organic
Organic mono molecular GMO (Glyceryl monooleate); Oleamide;  
Priolube™ 2040 (Saturated polyol ester)
Does not deplete in use Not as potent as MoDTC; minimal benefits in siding friction
Organic polymeric Perfad 3000 series Outstanding friction reduction in mixed sliding -rolling

Thermally and oxidatively stable

Antiwear benefits
More sensitive to the final formulation than mono molecular organics

Brochure: Perfad™ XG 2500

Aerial view of a road surrounded by green fields and a motor vehicle using Perfad XG 2500 friction modifier
1.6 MB

What are organic polymeric friction modifiers? 

We have developed a range of novel organic polymer friction modifiers. These are similar to existing organic friction modifiers, but they are then linked together within a larger molecule. The polymer structure helps to produce coherent layers of FM on the metal surfaces with each anchor point reinforced by another on either side. 

Perfad friction modifiers

What benefits do our polymeric friction modifiers bring?

  • An outstanding ability to reduce the coefficient of friction of lubricants to levels unachievable with conventional organic friction modifiers
  • Excellent film forming properties which offers the potential to reduce wear and to improve durability
  • More oxidatively stable than conventional organic friction modifiers
  • Effective at low dose rates, typically 0.1% - 0.5%.

Selecting the right friction modifier 

Friction modifier selection is based not only on the desired outcome, but also on the other additives used within the lubricant system. Additives within the lubricant complete for access to the metal surface, and detergents and dispersants in particular are polar, and can trap FMs within the bulk of the lubricant, limiting access to the surface. Careful selection of FMs are needed for the best performance in a particular lubricant formulation. If you would like us to help you formulate your next generation of lubricants, please contact us. 

Selected academic papers of interest

We regularly contribute to academic and industry papers. A small selection are referenced below:

Interactions between organic friction modifier additives,
Tribology International, Volume 151, 2020, 106438,
Benjamin M. Fry, Mang Yin Chui, Gareth Moody, Janet S.S. Wong,

View here

Adsorption of organic friction modifier additives

Fry, B.M.Moody, G.Spikes, H.A.Wong, J.S.S., Langmuir, 2020, 36(5), pp. 1147-1155

View here


Effect of surface cleaning on performance of organic friction modifiers

Fry, B.M.Moody, G.Spikes, H.Wong, J.S.S.

Tribology Transactions, 2020, 63(2), pp. 305-313

View here

The performance and mechanisms of organic polymeric friction modifiers in low viscosity engine oils
Moody, G., Eastwood, J., Ueno, K.
SAE Technical Papers, 2019, (December)

View here

The influence of friction modifiers in fully formulated motorcycle engine oils
Gillespie, D., Moody, G., Viadas, A.

View here

Recommended products

Perfad™ 3000

Perfad™ 3000

Perfad 3000 is a polymeric friction modifiers suitable for formulating into four-stroke engine oil formulations.

Perfad™ 3006

Perfad™ 3006

Perfad 3006 is friction modifier, which can be used in engine oils to lower friction.

Perfad™ 3057

Perfad™ 3057

Perfad 3057 is a polymeric friction modifier, which is used in engine oils to reduce friction.

Perfad™ 3100

Perfad™ 3100

Perfad 3100 is a thermal and oxidatively stable ashless friction modifier suitable for use in the formulation of industrial gear oils. It is European Ecolabel compliant and is featured on the LuSC...

Perfad™ NG 2500

Perfad™ NG 2500

A high performance ashless, organic polymeric friction modifier with friction reducing properties.

We can find a solution for your needs.