The automotive, ship and rail industries are just three of the sectors that will benefit from research carried out under COST Action 532. The Action’s main objective has been to generate new scientific knowledge regarding the fundamental physical, chemical and mechanical phenomena governing friction, wear and lubrication. Knowledge gained will be used to develop low friction, wear control and environmentally adaptable lubrication solutions for improving the functionality of future engines and transmissions such as engines working with hydrogen fuels, micro-lubricated and dry lubricant free transmission applications. This in turn will allow European industry to take a leading role in developing sustainable solutions in transportation and industrial production and become more competitive on a global scale.
The results were reported at the recent International Tribology Conference ECOTRIEB 2007 held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. COST Action 532 contributed jointly with the EUREA ENIWEP (European Network for Industrial Wear Prevention) Umbrella which also deals with friction control and industrial wear prevention. Papers from the conference will appear in special issues of the refereed journals Wear, Tribolgy
International and Tribotest.
|COST Action 532 focused European
research work on solving friction, wear and lubrication challenges.
Cost Action 532 focused European research work on solving friction, wear and lubrication related problems in engines and transmissions. Researchers from 58 institutes from 30 countries used a total of 260 research man years to find new solutions to future industrial challenges. A breakthrough has come with an improved understanding of the basic mechanisms related to carbon-based low friction coatings. Under dry conditions friction can now be reduced by two orders of magnitude; this can be achieved using one micrometer thick vacuum-deposited diamond-like carbon surfaces now that their interaction has been explained and new coating-additive chemical compositions which have been developed.
Much of the work has concentrated on furthering the understanding of environmentally adaptable fluids in engines and transmissions. New methods of emission reduction in engines were developed through the use of biogas, advanced lubricants, coatings and lightweight materials. Extensive theoretical and experimental investigations were carried out on a new design of piston ring which resulted in a 4% fuel consumption reduction in engine tests.
Transmission systems have been redesigned in order to improve frictional conditions, which has resulted in a power loss reduction of up to 74%. The results will benefit the new industrial products and improvements in production methods in the 103 companies directly involved in the research work. The 42 projects undertaken have already resulted in 32 industrial improvements in commercial use by the end of the five year Action.