Bangalore: Leading scientists and technocrats in medicine and engineering Thursday advocated the innovative use of nano materials to extend the lifespan of machines.
"Nanotechnology and its materials are gaining importance in view of their potential to develop efficient end-products in medicine and bio-engineering with longer lifespan than conventional products," Indian Institute of Science Professor S. Sampath said on the second day of the `Bangalore Nano 2010` event here.
For instance, nanotechnology reduces friction on the surface of materials, resulting in lesser noise and longer lifetime of engines.
"Nano coating improves fuel efficiency and protects surfaces of gear boxes in ships, automobiles, mining equipment and cement manufacturing plants," said Germany-based Rewitech GmbH managing director Stefan Bill.
As a multi-disciplinary function, nanotechnology can deliver most advanced and precision materials for multiple applications.
Nano coating of metal surfaces when the system is running helps industrial units like wind mills, as stopping it for repairs becomes a costly proposition.
"Though lifespan of a gear box in wind turbines is about 20 years, its efficiency does not last beyond seven years. Whereas by coating it with nano materials, its efficiency can be sustained and lifespan doubled," Bill told the delegates participating in the conference-cum-expo.
According to Switzerland-based CSM marketing manager Gregory Favaro, ultra thin nano coatings improve the efficiency of cutting tools ten-fold due to the mechanical characterisation of nano materials.
Similarly, intervention of nanotechnology in petroleum products improves efficiency of lubricants by achieving higher thermal conductivity and reducing friction.
"Nano particles are required in small quantities for such applications. We are the first Indian company to use nanotechnology in lubricant research," state-run Indian Oil senior research officer Samik Kumar Hait claimed.
Nano catalysis has also wide-ranging applications in the petroleum sector, whose products account for 39 percent of the global chemical market.
"We have developed a process based on nano catalysis to convert waste plastics into fuel oil. We are in the process of commercialising it," Indian Institute of Chemical Technology head K. Lakshmi Kantam said.