Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering and Computing

First Advisor

Abdel Bayoumi


This study is designed to research the tribological properties of nano oils developed by NanoPro MT and to determine their effects on fuel consumption in an UH-60 Blackhawk Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). For this work, two different nano oils were tested and compared against the performance of conventional oil. The first nano oil mixture contains proprietary nanodiamond particles and the second nano oil contains a mix of zinc sulfide, boron nitride, and graphene particles. Aeroshell 560 was used as the conventional oil and was blended with the nano particles to create both nano oils. This oil meets the military specifications for use in the APU. The APU is part of a test stand that consists of a turbine engine, an APU Tester, an Electronic Sequencing Unit, a fuel tank, a fuel flow meter, a water brake dynamometer, and multiple other sensors. In addition to testing with the APU, the oils were tested in an AH-64 Apache Intermediate Gear Box (IGB). Testing was conducted on two separate test stands, one applying torque through an absorption motor and one where no torque load was applied. These tests provide additional data for determining the effects of friction by measuring vibration and temperature. Offline analyses were also performed to characterize additional oil properties. Knowledge of these properties was used while determining causes for the results of the other tests. Viscosity and particle size information is vital when forming conclusions about the thermal and tribological properties of the oils.

The research performed in this study utilizes data from each of these tests to characterize the oil and to summarize the advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of each oil. RStudio, Microsoft Excel, and Matlab were used to analyze the data and perform calculations. T-tests were used to determine the variance, margin of error, and percent error within individual runs. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference Test (HSD) were employed to compare results between runs. In all of the calculations a 95% confidence interval was used. The results of this study show that varying the concentration of nanoparticles in Aeroshell 560 turbine oil can drastically change the thermal properties of the oil. This research also suggests that Aeroshell 560 turbine oil containing zinc sulfide, boron nitride, and graphene particles can provide significant improvements in fuel efficiency and friction reduction. Oil containing nanodiamond particles also improves performance of the APU and IGB, but not to the same extent as the other nano oil. A small improvement in efficiency could result in millions of dollars of fuel savings for the U.S. Army if the oil is implemented fleet wide in the APU and even more if the idea is translated to the main power source of the aircraft, the T700 turbo jet engine.