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 CeGlaFlex project: wafer-thin, unbreakable and flexible ceramic and glass
25.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Additive manufacturing, from macro to nano
11.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>