In this study, the effect of operational conditions (normal load, sliding velocity) and environment (pH and ionic strength) on the lubrication properties of two different hydrophobin proteins were investigated using pin on disc tribometry and ellipsometry. The studied proteins were wild type HFBI and the glycosylated hydrophobin FpHYD5. It was observed that the friction of a stainless steel versus stainless steel contact lubricated with either of the hydrophobins did not depend on the normal load. However, increased sliding velocity occasionally led to a decrease in friction when the surfaces were lubricated with the glycosylated FpHYD5. The tribological behaviour of FpHYD5 was studied at pH values ranging from 3 to 9 and generally lowered friction by 31-38% and wear by 40-65% compared to the corresponding buffer solutions. An exception was pH 9, where FpHYD5 increased friction and wear compared to the buffer solution. Ionic strength affected both the amount of protein that was adsorbed and the lubrication properties of glycosylated hydrophobins.
- water based lubrication