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
Copper oxide photocathodes: laser experiment reveals location of efficiency loss
10.05.2019 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
NIST research sparks new insights on laser welding
02.05.2019 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.
In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...
Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.
Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...
Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.
Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...
For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.
Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...
An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".
The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences