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  • Magazine Article
  • 17AUTP03_03
Published March 01, 2017 by SAE International in United States
  • English

A tough, self-renewing catalyst coating developed at Argonne National Laboratory provides unprecedented friction and wear protection for vehicle powertrains, the inventors claim.

Powertrain system engineers know that of the energy consumed in transportation, 10% to 15% is lost due to parasitics in engines and drivelines. Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new breed of nanocomposite coatings, which are made of the nitrides of transition metals and metal catalysts. These coatings provide a catalytically active, hard, and slick surface on metal components. They could have a major impact on improving the efficiency of automotive engines and gearboxes.

Transportation vehicles account for about 19% of annual world energy consumption and approximately 23% of total greenhouse gas emissions. With the global vehicle parc steadily growing, these numbers will likewise swell and present serious challenges for a sustainable mobility future. The new nanocomposite coatings also can work in concert with engine start-stop, downspeeding and cylinder-deactivation systems to further reduce vehicle fuel consumption.