Solid Film Lubricants for Improved Maintenance and Sustainment – Phase II

NCMS Project #: 142118

Problem: While many design advancements have increased the performance of internal combustion engines (ICEs), frictional energy losses in the piston assembly remains one of the largest contributors to reduced efficiency, with no less than one third of fuel consumption spent overcoming friction in the engine itself which leads to increased system heat and premature component wear.  With ICE remaining as the primary power system of choice for the foreseeable future, technological advancements to reduce the maintenance and sustainment costs must be investigated and applied when advantageous.

Benefit: The completion of these tasks will serve as an example to the commercial industry for providing better and more cost-effective lubrication technologies and processes to improve maintenance capacity and efficiency across a wide array of applications.

Solution/Approach: Phase I will establish a baseline friction, wear, and durability assessment of the novel prototype coating at its current level of development.  Phase II will use the results of Phase I testing and post-test analysis to further develop and mature the novel solid film lubricant technology reformulation.  The evaluation will be performed using a military ICE to replicate the potential benefits that can be achieved when adopted for use in a commercial ICE.  It will also develop theoretical and experimental methods to effectively screen potential candidate reformulations to gauge their relative performance at the bench level before moving on to larger scale engine testing.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce friction of engine components 
  • Enhance power, fuel efficiency, and durability 
  • Extend part service life 
  • Improve warfighter operability and mission readiness 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)

Industry Participation:

  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Improved readiness
  • Survivability
  • Energy efficiency
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement (hardware)