A novel carbon nanotube (CNT)/polystyrene (PS) hybrid miniemulsion was synthesized by an in situ process. The structure of composites in the prepared miniemulsion was characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopes. The lubricating property of this emulsion as an additive in water-based fluid was investigated by a four-ball tribo-tester. Results confirmed that the anti-wear performance and load-carrying capacity of the base stock were therefore significantly raised and the friction coefficient decreased. This was attributed to the excellent mechanical properties of CNTs and potentially attributed to the well-dispersed CNT composties acting as micro roller bearings between sliding surfaces.
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