Vitro-Lube NPI-1220                 Vitro-Lube NPI-1220C                 NPI-14, NPI-16 & NPI-425                  
                                  Intended Use & Suggested Applications   |    Design Details   |    Wear Life Testing

Vitro-Lube NPI-1220

Of the four lubricants currently marketed by NPI, this lubricant is the most unique and widely used. Vitro-Lube is technology that was generated by the XB-70 group at the Los Angeles Division of North American Aviation, Inc. (now The Boeing Company). It was the result of a crash program initiated after exhaustive screening and evaluation which revealed that the dry film lubricant industry had not advanced the state-of-the-art to a point that would come close to meeting the requirements of the XB-70 Mach 3 aircraft.

NPI negotiated an exclusive license with NAA in 1965 and proceeded to further evaluate the process as it would relate to other vehicles and systems, Now, over 50 years later, we feel safe in claiming that Vitro-Lube is that very special dry film commercially available for use at temperatures up to +700 F while at the same time offering outstanding performance at room temperature and cryogenic temperatures. It has been extensively evaluated over a wide range of temperatures and load levels including fretting/vibration conditions, and based on all available comparative test data, is still unsurpassed in terms of high load wear life over its designed temperature range.


The Vitro-Lube process offers reproducibility and quality assurance never before attained in the industry. This is a must if the designer is to rely on a thin film as the only means of lubrication in a particular device or system. Vitro-Lube NPI-1220 is a high load lubricant and is composed of lubricating pigments in a ceramic binder, and carried in a common solvent. It is fired for a short period of time in a high heat recovery kiln until the surface of the lubricated part reaches +975 degrees F and held there for one minute. A top coat of MoS2, graphite and a phenolic resin is then applied and cured for one hour at +300 F. The nominal thickness of this two coat system is 0.0005 to 0.0009 inches; Vitro-Lube NPI-1220 is supplied only as a finished material that is applied to customer furnished hardware by NPI.


Changes to the basic 1220 formula have been attempted both with the base coat and the top coat. The most successful modification was found to be a slight change to the top coat requiring a cure of +575 F with no change to the base coat. This became our Vitro-Lube NPI-1220C in 1995 and provides significantly longer wear life as well as significantly lower overall friction.