Research to improve energy efficiency
Friction and wear reducing coatings have been a research focus of the business unit “PVD- and Nanotechnology” at the Fraunhofer IWS for many years. More recently Fraunhofer engineers have collaborated with several industry partners to ready the process for industrial deployment and commercialization. The next development goal is to reduce the energy consumption of dry and minimally lubricated systems by using low friction coatings. The BMWi will fund this project over the next three years with 7.2 million euros, which includes the Fraunhofer IWS as well as eight industry partners and two additional research institutions. The core objective of the project is to optimize tribological systems in transmissions, bearings and chains so that these will not require external lubricants (oil, grease, etc.) in the future. Such systems would feature improved energy efficiency along with reduced CO2 emissions.