Queen’s professor recognized for nanotech oil additive
Discovery significantly reduces friction and boosts machine and engine life.
Queen’s Univeristy materials engineering professor, Guojun Liu, has received the Captain Alfred E. Hunt Memorial Award for discovering a way to use nanotechnology to reduce friction in automobile engines and machines. Dr Liu and his team mixed nano-scale polymer particles with automobile engine base oils and tested the mixture under metal surface contact conditions that simulated conditions found in automobile engines. According to Dr. Liu, the tiny particles were discovered to have an unprecedented friction reduction capability.
“The technology should be useful in a wide range of machineries other than automobile engines,” says Dr. Liu, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and an expert in polymer synthesis. “If implemented industrially, this nanotechnology should help prolong machine life and improve energy efficiency.”
In addition, he says that even at a low concentration, the nanoparticles performed much better than the friction additive that is currently used by many industries. They were able to reduce friction by 55 per cent more than the currently achievable rate.
The award, bestowed by the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), is given annually to the STLE member who authors the best paper dealing with the field of lubrication or an allied field.