Nanocoatings for High-Efficiency Industrial Hydraulic and Tooling Systems

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Industrial manufacturing in the U.S. accounts for roughly one third of the 98 quadrillion Btu total energy consumption. Motor system losses amount to 1.3 quadrillion Btu, which represents the largest proportional loss of any end-use category, while pumps alone represent over 574 trillion BTU (TBTU) of energy loss each year. The efficiency of machines with moving components is a function of the amount of energy lost to heat because of friction between contacting surfaces. The friction between these interfaces also contributes to downtime and the loss of productivity through component wear and subsequent repair. The production of new replacement parts ... continued below

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III, Clifton B. Higdon January 7, 2011.

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Description

Industrial manufacturing in the U.S. accounts for roughly one third of the 98 quadrillion Btu total energy consumption. Motor system losses amount to 1.3 quadrillion Btu, which represents the largest proportional loss of any end-use category, while pumps alone represent over 574 trillion BTU (TBTU) of energy loss each year. The efficiency of machines with moving components is a function of the amount of energy lost to heat because of friction between contacting surfaces. The friction between these interfaces also contributes to downtime and the loss of productivity through component wear and subsequent repair. The production of new replacement parts requires additional energy. Among efforts to reduce energy losses, wear-resistant, low-friction coatings on rotating and sliding components offer a promising approach that is fully compatible with existing equipment and processes. In addition to lubrication, one of the most desirable solutions is to apply a protective coating or surface treatment to rotating or sliding components to reduce their friction coefficients, thereby leading to reduced wear. Historically, a number of materials such as diamond-like carbon (DLC), titanium nitride (TiN), titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN), and tungsten carbide (WC) have been examined as tribological coatings. The primary objective of this project was the development of a variety of thin film nanocoatings, derived from the AlMgB14 system, with a focus on reducing wear and friction in both industrial hydraulics and cutting tool applications. Proof-of-concept studies leading up to this project had shown that the constituent phases, AlMgB14 and TiB2, were capable of producing low-friction coatings by pulsed laser deposition. These coatings combine high hardness with a low friction coefficient, and were shown to substantially reduce wear in laboratory tribology tests. Selection of the two applications was based largely on the concept of improved mechanical interface efficiencies for energy conservation. In mobile hydraulic systems, efficiency gains through low friction would translate into improved fuel economy and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Stationary hydraulic systems, accordingly, would consume less electrical power. Reduced tooling wear in machining operations would translate to greater operating yields, while lowering the energy consumed during processing. The AlMgB14 nanocoatings technology progressed beyond baseline laboratory tests into measurable energy savings and enhancements to product durability. Three key hydraulic markets were identified over the course of the project that will benefit from implementation: industrial vane pumps, orbiting valve-in-star hydraulic motors, and variable displacement piston pumps. In the vane pump application, the overall product efficiency was improved by as much as 11%. Similar results were observed with the hydraulic motors tested, where efficiency gains of over 10% were noted. For variable displacement piston pumps, overall efficiency was improved by 5%. For cutting tools, the most significant gains in productivity (and, accordingly, the efficiency of the machining process as a whole) were associated with the roughing and finishing of titanium components for aerospace systems. Use of the AlMgB14 nanocoating in customer field tests has shown that the coated tools were able to withstand machining rates as high as 500sfm (limited only by the substrate material), with relatively low flank wear when compared to other industrial offerings. AlMgB14 coated tools exhibited a 60% improvement over similarly applied TiAlN thin films. Furthermore, AlMgB14-based coatings in these particular tests lasted twice as long than their TiAlN counterparts at the 500sfm feed rates. Full implementation of the technology into the industrial hydraulic and cutting tool markets equates to a worldwide energy savings of 46 trillion BTU/year by 2030. U.S.-based GHG emissions associated with the markets identified would fall accordingly, dropping by as much as 50,000 tonnes annually.

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO16054-1
  • Grant Number: FG36-06GO16054
  • DOI: 10.2172/1001197 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1001197
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831449

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Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • January 7, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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III, Clifton B. Higdon. Nanocoatings for High-Efficiency Industrial Hydraulic and Tooling Systems, report, January 7, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831449/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.