Machining Lubricant Containing Exfoliated Graphite

Executive Summary

Machining processes in high production environment usually adopt flood cooling with water-based lubricants and various chemicals. In order to minimize the lubricant use and waste (which also eliminate centralized pumping stations), minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) techniques have been adopted, which generate mist of oil droplets. However, as the cutting speed increases, the oil droplets from MQL vaporize which cause excessive heating and degrade cutting tools.  MSU researchers have developed a new MQL lubricant with exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets (xGnPs) that provide the lubricity under high speed machining conditions.  


Description of the Technology

The invention is the use of a stable suspension of xGnPs in oil in machining. The xGnPs are suspended in oil at a level between 0.02 wt. % and 0.1 wt. % to provide the lubricity. Typically a vegetable oil is used and may include optional ingredients such as corrosion inhibitors, antimicrobial agents and wetting agents.



  • High temperature stability and lubricity under minimum quantity lubrication (MQL)
  • Reduces waste lubricant disposal



  • Machining – turning, milling, etc.
  • Forming


Patent Status

Issued US Patent US 9,080,122


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering article, 2016 

International Journal of Precision Engineering & Manufacture, 2012

Journal of Tribology article, 2011

Park, K.-H., Shantanu, J., Kwon, P., Do, I., Drzal, L., 2010, ‘Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) with Nanographene-Enhanced Lubricates: Ball-Milling Experiment,’ Transaction of NAMRC, 38, pp. 81-88.



Dr. Lawrence Drzal, Dr. Patrick Kwon





Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University