Ultra-smooth and super-lubricating coatings for component applications (CHEPHREN)


The transport and industry sectors are each responsible for around one third of Germany's energy consumption. But a large proportion of this energy is lost as waste heat. The reason for this is the friction that occurs during power transmission between moving machine parts. If it were possible to reduce this as far as possible, this would result in major potential savings in terms of both energy consumption and CO2 emissions. For this reason, a consortium in the CHEPHREN research project is investigating the effects of superlubricity, in which the individual components slide on each other with virtually no friction. If superlubricity is achieved on as many elements as possible in machines and engines, this can save large amounts of fuel or electricity.


In the project, different approaches for the consistent development of ultra-low and supra-low friction conditions are to be pursued on the basis of comprehensive tribological solution approaches. The Fraunhofer IWS approach of universal superabrasion using ta-C-based coating systems is a core component of the overall project. The main objective is the development of a novel plasma filter for the deposition of ultra-smooth ta-C coatings, which do not need to be re-smoothed and can therefore be used universally. On this basis, tribological solutions are to be created for the applications of the industrial partners, which will significantly improve their energy efficiency.