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Solid lubricants technology is a burgeoning field that deserves the attention of the designer of machines and devices that will operate in ordinary as well as in extreme environments. This article describes solid lubrication processes, the mechanisms by which solid lubricants function, the properties of solid lubricants, and the materials involved in solid lubrication and techniques for their application. Self-lubricating composites containing solid lubricants are described, which are useful as maintenance-free gears, bearings, and commutator brushes. Reliability of solid lubrication and wear life of solid-film lubricants are being improved by designing machine elements specifically to employ solid lubricants and by careful matching of the solid lubricant with the substrate bearing material.