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
Diamond watch components
18.06.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
Quick and safe laser joining of steel-aluminum mixed connections
05.06.2018 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences