Dry lubricants or solid lubricants are materials that, despite being in the solid phase, can reduce friction between two surfaces sliding against each other without the need for a liquid oil medium.
The lubricant creates a strong and stable lubricant layer (film) that helps keep the wire's surfaces and die apart from each other.
The two main dry lubricants are graphite and molybdenum disulfide. They offer lubrication at temperatures higher than liquid and oil-based lubricants operate. Dry lubricants are often used in applications such as locks or dry lubricated bearings. Such materials can operate up to 350 °C (662 °F) in oxidizing environments and even higher in reducing / non-oxidizing environments (molybdenum disulfide up to 1100 °C, 2012 °F). The low-friction characteristics of most dry lubricants are attributed to a layered structure on the molecular level with weak bonding between layers. Such layers can slide relative to each other with minimal applied force, thus giving them their low friction properties.