Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Precious coatings for plastic parts

27.01.2009
Bearings are universal components. Few devices can do without them. A diamond-like coating reduces friction in ball and slide bearings: The carbon layer can be applied to the plastic cage using a special process, and increases the components’ resilience and life span.

Be they ball bearings in bicycles, slide bearings in the crankshafts of ships, or high-performance bearings in motor sports – bearings fulfill a wide range of functions. In many cases, they have to withstand enormous engine speeds and thermal loads, which places extremely high demands on the material from which the bearings and the associated bearing cages are made.

Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg are working on the bearings of the future. They are equipping them with a very special coating that makes high-performance roller bearings, for example, even more durable and reliable than they already are.

The coating consists of diamond-like carbon (DLC). “Thanks to this coating, we can produce components that are much more robust than conventional elements, such as those made of uncoated plastic,” says IWM division director Dr. Sven Meier. “The coated bearings remain sturdy even if they are not sufficiently lubricated or if they run dry.”

Applying the DLC coatings to the parts requires a special process developed by the scientists at the IWM. “Our coating method is also suitable for geometrically complex parts, such as bearing cages,” Meier explains. The engineers have optimized the technique in such a way that even very thick DLC coatings – thicker than 20 micrometers – can be applied. “Our process enables us to generate targeted micro-structured coating systems, which in turn makes it possible to optimize the effect of lubricants and minimize friction and wear in the bearings. If required, we can also produce ultra-smooth surfaces.”

The researchers achieved the best coating results on components made of special plastic. Bearings made of this material achieve much higher engine speeds, develop less heat, and reach a much better service performance with the new coating than in uncoated form.

At present, the researchers are working on methods of developing coating processes specifically optimized for particular applications with the help of mathematical models. Their aim is to reduce the high costs currently required to develop such complex processes.

Sven Meier | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/bigimg/2009/rn01fo5g.jsp
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/press/pi/2009/01/ResearchNews012009Topic5.jsp

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition
14.09.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>