Friction-reducing surfaces to make engines more economical

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Together with the automotive industry, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS, Dresden (Germany), have developed processes for friction-reducing surfaces of engine components in recent years. Now, carbon dioxide emissions are to be reduced even further by further developments in surface technology. The Institute is working towards this goal with various partners in the "Prometheus" joint project. The researchers want to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from engines with innovative diamond-like coatings and laser-structured surfaces. The aim is to match the surface and the lubricant as closely as possible in order to reduce friction. "Superhard, diamond-like carbon coatings are already available. We have further optimized these and, among other things, added various elements to the graphite evaporated by plasma," explains Dr. Volker Weihnacht, who heads the research project at the Fraunhofer IWS. At the same time, we are working on laser microstructuring, which gives the surfaces a kind of shark skin effect and makes them particularly slippery. A total of twelve partners from industry and research are involved in the joint research project.

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