Texas researchers receive award for developing new lubricants for satellites, automobiles and computers

December 03, 2000

Clifford G. Venier and Edward W. Casserly of The Woodlands, Texas, will be honored on December 8 by the world's largest scientific society for developing new lubricants for satellites, automobiles and computers. The researchers, who are being recognized as a team, will receive one of four 2000 Industrial Innovation Awards at the American Chemical Society's Southeast-Southwest Combined Regional Meeting in New Orleans.

"[Their invention] is a good example of the creative use of fundamental science, in this case organic chemistry, to solve difficult problems in technical fields, in this case lubrication engineering," wrote Carmen Lombardi, the company official who nominated the two researchers.

The most important of the new lubricants is known commercially as Pennzane® Synthesized Hydrocarbon Fluid X2000. It can tolerate temperatures as low as -55 degrees centigrade without freezing. This property, coupled with an ability to prolong satellite life by dissolving anti-wear additives, has made it "the recommended solution to the lubricant problem for mechanisms that will operate in space," says Venier.

A senior research associate at Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, Venier also developed a synthetic motor oil containing an additive that resists oxidation in high temperatures, helping the oil last longer.

"While Pennzane® SHF X2000 is the most important member of this class of compounds so far, we are also looking at two slight variants," says Casserly, a senior research associate at Penreco, a partnership of Pennzoil-Quaker State and Conoco. Because they resist evaporation, these materials can provide the exceptionally thin coatings required for computer disk drives.

Through its industrial innovation awards program, the American Chemical Society recognizes individuals and teams whose discoveries and inventions contribute to the commercial success of their companies and enhance the quality of life.

American Chemical Society

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