Regenerating Engine Coating Could Completely Change Your Oil Change Schedule

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A couple years ago, British Petroleum (BP) estimated that the world’s supply would only last about 50 more years. Oil’s finite amount is one of its major downfalls. That’s why, in addition to the companies trying to find alternate methods for providing energy, there are people trying to find ways to make oil last longer or more efficient. That’s the exact type of science that is going on at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

At the tribology lab, engineers and scientists are studying and testing “surface engineered materials, lubricants, fuels, and fuel/lubricant additives for use in aggressive environments (for example, where two surfaces are rubbing together).” A lot of that research is trying to eliminate friction, because in engines of all types, including cars and trucks, friction means less efficiency. Friction also means more heat and wear, and heat and pressure breaks down oil. As y’all know, that’s why you change oil, because it loses its effectiveness and becomes dirty after a while.

A new breakthrough at the lab helped scientists create a coating that, when it comes in contact with oil, creates a “film” that acts as a protectant and lubricant. Better yet, once that film wears down, as soon as the oil comes in contact with the coating again, a new structural film generates. This could do a few things: It would eliminate the use of extra additives that are eventually difficult to dispose of and harmful for the environment, it could extend the life of your engine, it could make your engine more efficient, and it will prolong the life of the oil in your engine. It’s all positive.

Better yet, because Argonne has created coatings like this before (just not with regenerating properties), the technology for its application already exists. Hopefully this will start to make its way into engines and parts all over.

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via [Chicago Tribune / Argonne]

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