(19)
(11)EP 3 683 293 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
22.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/30

(21)Application number: 19152743.1

(22)Date of filing:  21.01.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C10M 173/00(2006.01)
C10N 30/06(2006.01)
C10N 50/02(2006.01)
C10M 173/02(2006.01)
C10N 40/32(2006.01)
C10N 70/00(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(71)Applicant: Golec, Marcin
London SW19 2RR (GB)

(72)Inventor:
  • Golec, Marcin
    London SW19 2RR (GB)

(74)Representative: Farago-Schauer, Peter Andreas 
FARAGO Patentanwälte Thierschstrasse 11
80538 München
80538 München (DE)

  


(54)COMPOSITION, METHOD AND USE


(57) The present invention is directed to aqueous compositions with wax and graphene. These compositions offer surprising benefits in reducing bicycle chain lengthening, particularly in off road environments with high dirt and water levels such as during mountain biking. The invention is further directed to a method of preparing such compositions and to the use of such compositions on bicycle chains.


Description

Technical field



[0001] The present invention is directed to a method of protecting a bicycle chain from dirt by dripping a composition on the chain, to a method of cycling using a mountain bike with a bicycle chain by first treating the bicycle chain with a dirt protecting composition and subsequently cycling in an off-road environment, and to a method of preparing a composition and to a composition for use in protecting bicycle chains from dirt.

Background to the invention



[0002] Bicycle chain are treated with lubricants, such as liquid oil-based or aqueous-based lubricants to smoothen metal to metal contact. Such "lubes" are dripped on the bicycle chain. Oil-based lubricants with different viscosities are available on the market, some having additives like Teflon powder. These oils however do not dry and collect a lot of dirt during bicycle rides, particularly off road, creating in effect an abrasive paste that resides inside a chain. Dirt collection compromises the durability of the bicycle chain over time, leading to chain lengthening. Available aqueous-based lubricants include wax compositions that dry somewhat over time leaving a wax layer on the chain. However, the layer does not fully dry and remains somewhat sticky, thus also collecting dirt.

[0003] Another lubrication option is to apply so-called "dry lube" which consists of a solvent such as ethanol and an additive such as Teflon or a ceramic powder. After evaporation of the solvent, the additive is left in dry form on the chain. Wind and chain movement however quickly remove the additive, rendering this option generally ineffective in lubricating bicycle chains.

[0004] Bicycle chains can also be submersed in a bath of hot, molten, liquid paraffin wax. Such bathes are at around 150°C and give off unpleasant, unhealthy fumes. After removal of the chain from the bath, a thin layer of solid wax is left on the chain for lubrication. Depending on the environmental conditions, regular reapplication of the wax is required, probably every few hundred kilometers under normal conditions but under off road conditions even more frequently.

[0005] This method is inconvenient because the bicycle chain needs to be removed from the bike each time for the molten wax bath treatment and this has to be done more frequently than other lube options mentioned before. Consequently, use of molten wax is a cumbersome option, even impractical for longer rides or for very muddy environments.

[0006] There remains a need for keeping bicycle chains in optimal condition, particularly when the bicycle chains are exposed to dirt in challenging off-road environmental conditions with high dirt levels such as those used in mountain biking.

Summary of the invention



[0007] The present invention is directed at extending the life of bicycle chains. While lubricants of the prior art smoothen (i.e. lubricate) metal to metal contact, we realized they still lead to undesirable, fast bicycle chain lengthening over time particularly in off road conditions due to abrading metal of chain pin and inner plate extrusions. Such bicycle chain lengthening is undesirable as it compromises the interaction between the bicycle chain and the sprockets, leading to increased friction between chain and chainrings and sprockets that lowers power transfer from the pedals to the wheels. Fast increasing pitch of the chain, due to wear, exponentially increases wear on all the components that have a contact with a chain, namely chainrings, cassettes and derailleur sprockets.

[0008] Accordingly, it is the objective of the present invention to extend the life of bicycle chains by limiting bicycle chain lengthening in off-road environments with high dirt levels such as those used in mountain biking.

[0009] The present invention is directed a method of protecting a bicycle chain from dirt by dripping a composition comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene on the chain.

[0010] Further, the invention is directed to a method of cycling using a mountain bike with a bicycle chain by first treating the bicycle chain with a dirt protecting composition comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene and subsequently cycling in an off-road environment.

[0011] Further, the invention is directed to a method of preparing a composition comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene, by preparing an aqueous composition with water and wax and subsequently stirring in the graphene.

[0012] Furthermore, the invention is directed to a composition for use in protecting bicycle chains from dirt comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene. Preferably, the composition according to claim 4 further comprising from 0.1 to 10% by weight of an inhibitor wherein the inhibitor is a solvent selected from 5-Chlor-2-methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-on, 2-Methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-on and mixtures thereof.

[0013] Surprisingly, we have found that the compositions of the present invention provide protection against dirt and reduce bicycle chain lengthening in bicycle applications. While the prior art teaches lubrication to smoothen metal-metal contact, the present invention is directed at protecting the bicycle chain against the effects of dirt that deposits in and on the bicycle chain, negatively affecting the chain durability and leading to undesirable chain lengthening. Surprisingly, we have found that use of the dirt protecting composition of the invention leads to better and longer bicycle chain life under such circumstances. Furthermore, the present invention synergistically combines the effect of lubrication by means of the wax present on the chain and the dirt protection effect by means of the graphene entrapped in the wax.

[0014] Chain lengthening can easily be determined using a standard device a so-called "chain checker tool". Of course, a regular rule or caliper may also be used. Chain lengthening can be expressed in percentages where 0% represents a new chain while 100% chain lengthening represents such lengthening that the standard chain checker tool sinks into the chain links on both sides; this means that the chain has lengthened to such an extent that replacement should be considered.

Detailed description of the invention



[0015] Compositions of the invention preferably comprise graphene material. Graphene consists of 1nm thick sheets of hexagonally organized carbon structures. The physical structure and physical properties are different from graphite with which it should not be confused. Graphene is very strong, water repellant, electric-conductive, air tight material and was only discovered in 2004 in the UK. "Graphene: a new emerging lubricant" by Diana Berman et al., Materials today, vol 17, number 1, January/February 2014 discusses the lubricating qualities of graphene in solid state and in oil-based compositions. US8222190 discloses the general use of graphene for lubrication and exemplifies oily based compositions.

[0016] We found that application of graphene in dry powder form to the chain does not lead to good chain protection results due to the fact that powder is quickly removed by air flow and moving chain. Also, application of graphene in oily compositions leads to accumulation of dirt on and in the bicycle chain, due to the oily composition attracting and collecting dirt. However, we have surprisingly found that compositions comprising graphene in combination with wax, applied in an aqueous composition to the bicycle chain, leads to surprisingly limited chain lengthening even under challenging environmental conditions with high dirt levels such as mountain biking.

[0017] According to the invention, graphene is preferably added to the composition in particulate form, for instance measured with STEM (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy) with a lateral size in the range of 400nm +/-150nm and a flake thickness of 3nm +/-2nm but smaller or larger particles may also be used.

[0018] Preferably, the composition of the invention comprises graphene at level of from at least 0.005% by weight, more preferably from at least 0.01% by weight and preferably up to at most 10% by weight, more preferably up to at most 5% by weight, most preferably at most 3% by weight, especially preferred at most 1% by weight and in particularly preferred at most 0.5% by weight.

[0019] According to the invention, graphene is preferably combined with wax in an aqueous carrier composition. Wax may be present in the composition in particulate form or dissolved, but the composition is preferably an aqueous wax emulsion or solution. Such aqueous wax emulsions and solutions are well-known in the art and have been available for a long time. After application on the bicycle chain, the water evaporates from the compositions, leaving a thin layer of wax and graphene on the bicycle chain, which acts surprisingly well against the detrimental effects of dirt on the bicycle chain.

[0020] Compositions of the invention comprise wax. The wax of the invention is preferably is solid at room temperature. The wax is preferably selected from hard waxes with a melting point of preferably higher than 45°C, more preferably higher than 55°C, most preferably higher than 60°C and preferably up to 110°C, more preferably up to 100°C. Melting points can be measured using needle penetration, for instance as measured according to the American standard ASTM D5, of 3 to 40 at 25°C.

[0021] Preferably, wax is selected from animal waxes, vegetable waxes, mineral waxes, synthetic waxes, and mixtures thereof. Animal waxes are preferably beeswax, spermaceti, lanolin, and shellac wax. Preferred vegetable waxes are Carnauba, candellila, bayberry, and sugarcane wax. Preferred mineral waxes are ozokerite, ceresin, montan, paraffin, microcrystalline wax, petroleum and petrolatum wax. Preferred synthetic waxes are silicone waxes, polyol ether-esters, hydrogenated plant oils such as castor oil, jojoba wax, sunflower oil, cotton oil, coprrac oilik and lanolin oils-; ethylenic polymers, and hydrocarbon type wax, such as Fischer Tropsch waxes.

[0022] Preferred waxes of the invention are petroleum derived wax, including petrolatum (petroleum jelly), microcrystalline wax and paraffin. More preferred are microcrystalline wax and paraffin. Particularly preferred is paraffin. Paraffin is solid at room temperature and is provided in block or chunks.

[0023] Preferably, the composition comprises wax at a level of from at least 10% by weight, more preferably from at least 20% by weight, most preferably from at least 30%, and preferably up to at most 50% by weight and more preferably up to at most 45% by weight.

[0024] Preferably, the composition comprises a liquid phase. The liquid phase preferably comprises water at a level of at least 80% by weight, more preferably at least 90% by weight or more and preferably up to 100% by weight. Preferably the composition of the invention comprises water at a level of at least 50% by weight of the composition, more preferably from at least 55% by weight, most preferably from at least 60% by weight, and preferably up to at most 90% by weight, and more preferably from at most 80% by weight.

[0025] According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, an inhibitor is added to assist in preparing the wax composition. The term inhibitor is well-known in this industry. Inhibitors are used in commercially available products, such as Squirt® and Smoove®. For the purpose of the invention, an inhibitor - sometimes called "crystallization inhibitor" or "wax inhibitor"- is defined as a compound that affects -inhibits- crystallization of the wax. According to the invention, the inhibitor physically affects crystallization of the wax. Inhibitors exist with a wide variety of chemical structure. Examples are the Basoflux® product series, such as PI and RD types that also find application in compositions of the present invention. Other brand names are Shellsol, Flowsolve 120 (acrylic polymer). Polyacrylates can be used (see examples mentioned in "Evaluation of effects of selected wax inhibitors on wax appearance and disappearance temperatures", Wang et al, Petrol Sci Technol, 2003, 359-368). Solvents can be used, such as hexane or xylene or Solvesso 100® (2E,4E-hexa-2,4-dienal). Preferred inhibitors according to the invention are solvents 5-Chlor-2-methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-on, 2-Methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-on, and/or mixtures thereof.

[0026] Depending on the type, the composition of the invention preferably comprises an inhibitor at a level of from 0.5% by weight of the composition, more preferably from 1% by weight and preferably up to 10% by weight, more preferably up to 7% by weight, and most preferably up to 5% by weight.

[0027] We have found that dirt particles accumulate more in the liquid oily compositions, rendering oily substances generally less attractive for incorporation in the composition of the invention. Accordingly, compositions of the invention preferably comprise less than 5% by weight of oily substances that are liquid at room temperature, more preferably less than 3% by weight, while most preferably, the compositions are free of such liquid oils.

[0028] The composition of the invention may optionally comprise further ingredients. For instance, solvents or specifically organic solvents (such as ethanol, propanol, isopropylalcohol) may be at levels up to 10% by weight.

[0029] A preferred composition according to the present invention comprises 50-90% by weight of water, 10-50% by weight of paraffin (preferably emulsified in an aqueous base), 0.01-5% by weight of graphene, and 1-5% by weight of inhibitor.

[0030] The invention is further directed to a method of preparing compositions by first mixing the wax with water (preferably with an inhibitor and/or solvents) and subsequently adding graphene, preferably under stirring. Preferably, the wax is incorporated in the composition such that an aqueous wax emulsion or solution results. Preferably, the wax is emulsified or dissolved in the aqueous composition using an inhibitor. Preferably, the graphene is added in powder form under stirring.

[0031] The invention further relates to a method of protecting a bicycle chain from dirt by dripping the composition of the invention on the bicycle chain. Subsequently, the water is let to evaporate, preferably while moving the bicycle chain over the sprocket and chain ring to distribute the composition of the invention in and on the bicycle chain. After water evaporation, the resulting composition is pasty (i.e. has a shoe paste-like consistency) which is beneficial for retaining the wax and graphene in place on the bicycle chain, yet does not excessively collect dirt.

[0032] As well-known in this technical field, bicycle chains comprise links. Each of those links consists of several parts that are typically combined as follows: each of the two ends of a first outer plate 1 is connected through a first inner plate and a second inner plate to a second outer plate with a pin. The pins are surrounded by roller 5 and, often, a bushing is present between the roller and the pin. Similar chain designs exist without bushings, these are sometimes called "bushing-less". While usable in bushing-less bicycle chains, the present invention is particularly useful in reducing chain lengthening in bicycle chains with bushings. Teeth of the chain ring and the sprocket engage with subsequent rollers of the links of the bicycle chain, moving the bicycle forward.

[0033] The invention is further directed to a method of cycling using a mountain bike with a bicycle chain wherein first the bicycle chain is treated with the dirt protecting composition according to the invention and, subsequently, the bicycle is used in an off-road environment. Compositions of the invention are particularly useful for mountain bikes (sometimes called all terrain bike). These bicycles often have suspension at least for the front wheel and preferably also for the rear wheel. Importantly, the tires of mountain bike have knobs, made of rubber, and extending radially outwards, generally for around 1 to 5mm. These knobs improve the tire's grip on the underlying soil, offering stability in off-road environments. However, the knobs on the moving tires also increase the amount of dirt kicked up onto the bicycle chain, thus aggravating the problem of chain lengthening. Accordingly, the composition of the invention is particularly useful for mountain bikes that are used in off-road environments.

EXAMPLES


Example 1 - preparation



[0034] The composition according to the invention was prepared by stirring graphene (0.01% by weight) into an aqueous wax composition that comprised paraffin (40% by weight; solid paraffin), inhibitor (5-Chlor-2-methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-on; 5% by weight) and water (at 100%).

Example 2 - comparative example



[0035] The composition prepared in example 1 was tested on a bicycle chain and compared to the same composition without graphene. In this experiment, a bicycle chain was treated with the composition to be tested and the bicycle with the chain was positioned on a stand and pedals were moved during 6 blocks of each 1000km. Blocks had differently defined standard conditions, including no contamination (blocks 1, 3 and 5), dry contamination (block 2), wet contamination (block 4) and extreme contamination (block 6; 2x more water and 2x more dirt - including soil and sand- than in wet contamination).

[0036] After each block, bicycle chain lengthening was measured with the precision caliper. Chain lengthening was expressed in percentages wherein 100% represents the lengthening of the chain such that the standard chain checker tool sinks into the chain links on both sides: this is a standard procedure for determining that chain replacement should be considered.

[0037] During block 4, the composition with wax and graphene only had 33.7% chain lengthening while the comparative composition with wax but without graphene performed worse with 41.7% chain lengthening.

[0038] The composition of the invention had total chain lengthening of 86% after block 5. The chain treated with the comparative composition (without graphene) had passed 100% chain lengthening during block 5 (in fact 107%).

[0039] It is concluded that the aqueous composition comprising a combination of wax and graphene according to the invention outperformed the same composition without the graphene, supporting the surprising and inventive character of the present invention.

Example 3 - comparison with commercially available lubricants



[0040] The composition of the invention was tested in the same set-up as Example 2 but was this time compared to commercially available lubricant products. The chain treated with oil-based Rock N Roll Gold passed 100% lengthening during block 4 (122% stretch). The chain treated with aqueous wax-based composition Squirt® also passed the 100% mark in block 4. The chain treated with oil-based White Lightening Epic Ride® failed in block 3. Wax-based Smoove® failed in block 5. Oil-based Muc Off Hydro Dynamic® and Muc Off Nano® both already failed in block 2. Oil-based Cycle Star Gold® failed in block 3. Oil-based Silca NFS® failed in block 5, while wax-based Wend Wax-2® failed in block 3. The composition of the invention was still usable in block 6.

[0041] In conclusion, the composition of the invention outperformed all commercially available lubricants that were tested under the same conditions. In fact, the composition of the invention even beat each of those lubricants during each block. This further supporting the inventive character of the present invention compared to commercially available products used for lubricating bicycle chains.

Example 4 - comparison with molten wax chain treatment



[0042] The composition of the invention with wax and graphene was also compared to a bicycle chain that was treated with molten wax that was reapplied 3 times during every block, thus every 333 kilometers. Importantly, this requires a cumbersome process for each block requiring: taking the bicycle chain of the bicycle, cleaning the chain, treating the chain with molten paraffin, brushing off excess wax and placing the chain again on the bike (see also above explanation in the description).

[0043] The composition of the invention outperformed the molten wax in blocks 2 and most importantly in block 6, the block with high levels of dirt and water, even though the molten wax chain was cleaned and treated every 333 kilometers. Particularly, this block 6 is representative for mountain biking. Accordingly, the composition of the invention is surprisingly most suitable for protection of bicycle chains against high dirt levels such as conditions typical for mountain biking.


Claims

1. A composition for use in protecting bicycle chains from dirt comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene.
 
2. A method of protecting a bicycle chain from dirt by dripping a composition comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene on the chain.
 
3. A method of cycling using a mountain bike with a bicycle chain by first treating the bicycle chain with a dirt protecting composition comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene and subsequently cycling in an off-road environment.
 
4. A method of preparing a composition comprising from 50 to 90% by weight of water; from 10 to 50% by weight of wax selected from microcrystalline wax, paraffin and mixtures thereof; and from 0.005 to 10% by weight of graphene, by preparing an aqueous composition with water and wax and subsequently stirring in the graphene.
 
5. The invention according to any of the preceding claims further comprising from 0.1 to 10% by weight of an inhibitor wherein the inhibitor is a solvent selected from 5-Chlor-2-methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-on, 2-Methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-on and mixtures thereof.
 
6. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the graphene is present at a level of from 0.005% up to 5% by weight.
 
7. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the graphene is present at a level of from 0.005% up to 3% by weight.
 
8. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the graphene is present at a level of from 0.005% up to 1% by weight.
 
9. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the graphene is present at a level of from 0.005% up to 0.5% by weight.
 
10. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the wax is paraffin.
 
11. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the wax is present at a level of from at least 20% up to at most 45% by weight.
 
12. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the aqueous composition is an emulsion.
 
13. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein solvent is present at a level up to 10% by weight.
 
14. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the composition comprises less than 5% by weight of oily substances that are liquid at room temperature.
 
15. The invention according to any of the preceding claims wherein the composition comprises water at a level of at least 60% by weight up to at most 80% by weight.
 





Search report









Search report




Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description