Nanoparticle technology reduces friction in engines

Dr Guojun Liu, a researcher at Queens University, Canada, has discovered a way to use nanotechnology to reduce friction in automobile engines and machines.

Dr Liu’s team prepared polymer particles that were then dispersed in vehicle-engine base oils.

According to Queens University, the particles exhibited unprecedented friction-reduction capability when tested under metal-surface contact conditions that simulated conditions found in car engines.

At a low concentration, the nanoparticles are said to have performed much better than the friction additive that is currently used by many industries. They were able to reduce friction by 55 per cent more than the currently achievable rate.

‘The technology should be useful in a wide range of machineries other than automobile engines,’ said Dr Liu, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and an expert in polymer synthesis. ‘If implemented industrially, this nanotechnology should help to prolong machine life and improve energy efficiency.’

Dr Liu’s discovery has earned the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers’ Captain Alfred E Hunt Memorial Award.