The (nano) technological oil

- Focus
With WS2+, Mapetrol, the Slovenian oil company that in 2022 celebrates 100 years in the world of production and distribution of lubricating oils, makes its debut in the world of karting. The product, characterized by cutting-edge technology, is ready for any challenge (by M. Pierluigi)

Mapetrol, a company with a centennial experience in the lubricant production sector, launches a new line of products dedicated to karting in which the WS2+ blend engine oil stands out. This lubricant was developed using nano-sized tungsten disulfide as an anti-friction additive. In addition to being the additive with the lowest coefficient of friction to date, it also guarantees reducing metal ridges with a sort of self-regenerating or healing function. On the test bench it improves the engine’s power output.

The history of lubricating oils in the world of karting, and of products related to them, is made of actual technological leaps and more or less passing fashions, often endorsed by the firm ideas of opinion leaders who espoused certain brands more out of interest than out of conviction. Over the years, then, we have been able to see a huge number of companies that have launched into this sector by copying products already tested ... Castor oil yes, castor oil no, 100% synthetic ... we have seen all sorts of ‘elixirs’ in recent years, dominated by the obligation to homologate each product to be used in the race (the federation has realized that even in that sector you can make money) or to necessarily use a certain product to run in certain categories.

Faced with these political and fashionable difficulties, Mapetrol, a dynamic Slovenian company that celebrates its centenary in 2022, has launched its hi-tech lubricant called WS2 combined with a line of products specifically for karting, including two chain lubricants (one with PTFE and one synthetic), a cleaner for chain grease, a brake cleaner and a multipurpose WD-type one. The Mapetrol colors are defended on the track in international competitions by the young and promising Slovenian driver Oskar Poberaj.
Nanotechnology for super performance

A company like Mapetrol could not make its debut in a competitive world like karting with a product that, although of high quality, is essentially conventional. For this reason, the chemists, in collaboration with engine tuners and teams that take part in the most competitive international competitions, developed and homologated WS2, a blend oil with exceptional technical characteristics capable of improving the reliability and performance of 60, KZ and single-speed 125cc engines. To achieve this result, the R & D department has chosen the most promising route today: that of nanotechnology. In essence, nanotechnology is a branch of applied science and technology that deals with the control of matter on a dimensional scale in the order of the nanometer, i.e. one billionth of a meter (usually between 1 and 100 nanometers) and with the design and manufacture of devices at that scale. The term “nanotechnology” generically denotes the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular level and, in particular, refers to lengths on the order of a few lattice steps.

This means being able to exploit the chemical/physical characteristics of a given material reduced to infinitesimal dimensions. Among these nanomaterials, Mapetrol technicians have focused on nanosized tungsten disulfide, whose chemical formula is precisely WS2. Tungsten disulfide is produced by a chemical process called thermolysis: (or thermal decomposition or thermal degradation), which is a chemical reaction of splitting chemical bonds achieved through heat. The molecules obtained with this production system have a size of 0.4~0.7 μm and and are able to guarantee a coefficient of friction equal to 0.03-0.06. It acts not only on sliding friction engine elements such as the barrel/piston, but also on all engine elements characterized by rolling friction, such as ball bearings. Once the tungsten disulfide reaches the thermal degree of fixation in the engine, its nanomolecules adhere to the metal walls which, in this way, remain constantly lubricated. This kind of nanolubrication persists, for a certain period of use, even when the oil with nanomolecules is not used.

The choice of this new product was made by Mapetrol for a very simple reason: to date, tungsten disulfide has the best friction coefficient among products of this type, it is safe and guarantees constant protection at all temperatures. In addition to guaranteeing a reduction in wear, to the advantage of the duration of the engine over time, WS2 oil also ensures a significant increase in the performance of the engine, found both on the test bench and on the track. In addition to drastically reducing the internal friction of the engine, the nanomecules of WS2 are able to “reconstruct” the metal surfaces, making them less rough and, consequently, smoother even from a strictly morphological point of view, eliminating the micro-cracks and crests that can be detected with the use of special microscopes. The results were immediately encouraging, so much so that the Slovenian company immediately asked for CIK FIA homologation of its WS2 oil and built a new, sophisticated test room with a braked test bench inside its main plant in order to continue testing and developing its lubricants. Numerous teams and distributors around the world have already had the opportunity to test WS2 and the line of hi-tech products for karting developed by Mapetrol, obtaining excellent results.



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