Ultrathin film interferometry has been used to measure the boundary film-forming behaviour of long chain, carboxylic acid oiliness additives. It has been shown that in dry conditions, these acids form very thin films of around 2–3 nm thickness. However when water is present, some acids form significantly thicker films, around 10 nm in thickness. The behaviour of these films is very similar to that previously seen with metal carboxylate additive films, including thick film collapse at high rolling speeds followed by film reformation at slow speeds. It is suggested thick films formed by long chain carboxylic acid additives result from reaction of the acids at the rolling solid surfaces in the presence of water to form deposits of insoluble iron carboxylate
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