Molybdenum disulfide

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Molybdenite (molybdenum disulfide)


A fine black powder that occurs naturally as the mineral molybdenite. Molybdenum disulfide is greasy and is resistant to high temperatures and pressures. Molybdenum disulfide quickly attaches to the surface of metals to form a slick, friction resistant surface. Because of this property, it is used as a powder lubricant for machinery and moving parts, particularly in guns, weapons, and armor. However, it can corrode many metals and is not recommended for long term use.

Synonyms and Related Terms

molybdic sulfide; molybdenum sulfide; Molysulfide; Dri-Slide; molybdenite; sulfure de molybdène (Fr.); Molybdändisulfid (Deut.); Molybdänsulfid (Deut.); disulfuro de molibdeno (Esp.); sulfureto de molibdénio (Port.)


Molybdenite (molybdenum disulfide)


  • Toxic by inhalation.
  • Heat or acid may cause decomposition producing hydrogen sulfide fumes.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Insoluble in water or dilute acids

Composition MoS2
CAS 1317-33-5
Mohs Hardness 1.0
Melting Point 1185 C
Density 4.80 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 160.08
Boiling Point 2375 C

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 470
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 6318
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Tom Rowland, Noel Riley, A-Z Guide to Cleaning, Conserving and Repairing Antiques, Constable and Co., Ltd., London, 1981
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979

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