Automotive

Tribological research has been embraced for many years in the automotive industry and PCS' range of instruments are used around the world to design and develop world leading formulations for the field.

Whether you are focused on motorbikes or lorries, on electric vehicles or petrol, in every automotive application you will find moving parts; and where you find these moving parts you find tribology. From gearboxes to brake pads our instruments have been used to drive the innovation of the automotive sector through reliable, repeatable bench top testing.

In the automotive industry the benefits of tribological research are widespread. One major benefit from the continued research and improvement of lubricant and coating formulations is the protection they offer moving parts in automotive systems. This improved protection means increased reliability, which is great for customers but also for the environment as parts need replacing less frequently.

Environmental benefits of tribological research in the automotive sector are also found in the improvement in efficiency of powertrain systems, the result of better lubricants. With estimates suggesting that 200,000 million litres of fuel are used annually to overcome friction in passenger cars, even a modest 0.1% improvement in efficiency could result in hundreds of millions of litres of fuel being saved.

Using PCS equipment, testing of contacts under conditions found in internal combustion engines can be performed, shear rates can be replicated and EHD film thicknesses can be analysed. PCS have worked closely with a large number of experts in the automotive industry for the past 30 years, and our instruments have developed to meet their ever-changing needs.

Automotive industry research areas include:

  • CV joints
  • Cam follower systems
  • Bearings
  • Gearboxes
  • Brake pads
  • Clutch pads
  • Diesel fuels

Automotive Industry includes the following:

Cars

Cars

Many aspects of cars are tribologically interesting. Extensive research into a host of components such as gearboxes, engines, bearings and brakes is ongoing around the world.

Heavy Duty Vehicles

Heavy Duty Vehicles

Like with cars, tribology research into heavy duty vehicles is ongoing and for this area higher loads are often focused on for more representative test conditions.

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Motorcycles typically run at higher RPM than cars and heavy duty vehicles. This places different requirements on the oils and lubricants used in them, which is an area of focused research.

Motorsport

Motorsport

Tribology is even more important in motor sport than in consumer cars. The tolerances are finer and the optimisation of fuels and lubricants greater, so how surfaces interact is critical in developing the fastest racer possible.

Instruments for the Automotive Industry

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Automotive Industry Articles & Papers

Paper

Oil Miscible Phosphonium-Phosphate Ionic Liquid as Novel Antiwear and Antipitting Additive for Low-Viscosity Rear Axle Lubricants

This study explored the feasibility of using a phosphonium phosphate ionic liquid as a candidate anti-wear and anti-pitting additive for …

This study explored the feasibility of using a phosphonium phosphate ionic liquid as a candidate anti-wear and anti-pitting additive for rear axle lubricant. This particular IL was first added to a VHVI8 base oil at 2–3% concentration and demonstrated effective surface protection for wear and micro-cracking under rolling-sliding contacts. The promising results directed to a step further to produce a series of IL-containing low-viscosity (about a half of SAE 75W-90) fully formulated gear oils. Selected IL-containing experimental oils showed superior mitigation of rolling contact fatigue to a commercial SAE 75W-90 gear oil in bench-scale rolling-sliding tests. Full-scale hub dynamometer tests were then conducted and demonstrated more than 3% power output and torque generation for an IL-containing low-viscosity gear oil benchmarked against commercial baselines.

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Paper

Electrochemically Exfoliated Graphene and Molybdenum Disulfide Nanoplatelets as Lubricant Additives

In this work, two different 2D materials, molybdenum disulfide nanoplatelets (MSNP) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), prepared by electrochemical exfoliation, were …

In this work, two different 2D materials, molybdenum disulfide nanoplatelets (MSNP) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), prepared by electrochemical exfoliation, were used as additives to prepare nanolubricants. The tribological behaviour of the nanolubricants was evaluated under two configurations (pure sliding and rolling/sliding) using two different tribometers: an Universal Macro Materials Tester (UMT-3) and a Mini Traction Machine (MTM2). Wear volume was determined, after the sliding tests, in a confocal microscope (Leica DCM 3D) and the worn surface was analyzed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Raman microscopy. Lubrication mechanisms of GNP and MSNP dispersed in an engine oil for improving its antifriction and antiwear capabilities are proposed. The traction coefficient determination was performed at a 50% of slide-to-roll ratio and at different temperatures. The results showed that the nanolubricants formulated with both types of additives, in their lowest concentration, improved friction and wear in sliding tests, compared to neat engine oil. In addition, only the nanolubricants with the MSNP nano additive at loadings of 0.05 and 0.2 wt% showed friction reductions compared to the commercial engine oil under the rolling/sliding tests.

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