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Inductive Micro-Flash Desorption for a Molecular-Level Understanding of Fuel Lubricity



Kimberly N. Urness, Thomas J. Bruno


Liquid fuels aboard high-performance aircraft currently fulfill the role of both the propellant and the heat sink for regenerative cooling. The fuels themselves have now reached their thermal capacity for effective cooling, and any additional heat load results in unfavorable thermal stress to the fuel, restricting further performance gains. A proposed method to improve the operability of these aircraft and increase efficiency is to eliminate the entire lubricant system and require that the fuel serve not only as the propellant and coolant, but also as the lubricant. To enable this transition, it is necessary to identify the important characteristics of fuel lubricity in order to design fuel blends that can optimize this function. At NIST we are developing a solvent-free extraction technique called Inductive Micro-Flash Desorption to quickly characterize the molecular species in complex mixtures that are involved in boundary lubrication through direct measurement. The technique takes a sample immersed in a fluid that contains surface-active species and rapidly thermally desorbs the interacting species with induction heating. The desorbed species are then detected by suitable analytic techniques such as gas chromatography with mass spectrometry.
Proceedings Title
Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
Conference Dates
May 15-19, 2016
Conference Location
Las Vegas, NV, US
Conference Title
Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers - Annual Meeting and Exhibition


boundary lubrication, fuels, lubricants, gas chromatography


Urness, K. and Bruno, T. (2016), Inductive Micro-Flash Desorption for a Molecular-Level Understanding of Fuel Lubricity, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, Las Vegas, NV, US, [online], (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created May 18, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021