Washington: New technologies can reduce friction in cars, which is responsible for no less than one third of fuel consumption, say scientists.
There are 612 million cars in the world today. The average car clocks up about 13,000 km per year, and in the meantime burns 340 litres of fuel just to overcome friction, costing the driver EUR 510 per year.
Now, a joint study by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in USA says new technologies such as new surface coatings, surface textures, lubricant additives, low-viscosity lubricants, ionic liquids and low-friction tyres inflated to pressures higher than normal, can reduce friction by anything from 10 percent to 80 percent in various components of a car.
It should thus be possible to reduce car’s fuel consumption and emissions by 18 percent within the next 5 to 10 years and up to 61 percent within 15 to 25 years.
Friction can be reduced by 10 percent to 50 percent using new surface technologies such as diamond-like carbon materials and nanocomposites.
Laser texturing can be employed to etch a microtopography on the surface of the material to guide the lubricant flow and internal pressures so as to reduce friction by 25 percent to 50 percent and fuel consumption by 4 percent.
Ionic liquids are made up of electrically charged molecules that repel one another, enabling a further 25 percent to 50 percent reduction in friction.
The research was published in the Tribology International scientific journal.