Diamond-Like Coating Could Change Engine Protection Forever

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Though there are general guidelines for when oil should be changed, the rules these days have gotten a little blurry thanks to better engines, synthetic oils, and improved regular oil. Some people stick to the time-honored 3,000-mile check, others wait double that, others might just change it every six months, even if they haven’t driven the car that much. Either way, the aim is to protect your engine, and new science coming out of Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois has developed a coating that could keep your engine running smoother for longer.

The new discovery is the work of scientists at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials: Ali Erdemir, Badri Narayanan, Osman Levent Eryilmaz, Giovanni Ramirez, and Subramanian Sankaranarayanan. Together, with the help of Argonne’s supercomputer named Mira, they created a coating with catalysts that activate when engine oil is breaking down due to heat and pressure.

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The coating, as explained by the Chicago Tribune, works like diamonds and forms under those same intense conditions. So instead of allowing more friction when it’s hot, the coating solidifies and makes the inner workings of the engine more lubricated, and in doing so, prevents any damage or wear. When the film is worn down, the catalysts within the coating touch the oil, and the film automatically regenerates.

Not only could this coating eliminate excessive oil changes and extra additives that are all somewhat difficult to dispose of, it could also make your engine last longer and increase fuel economy. Argonne has developed coatings like this before, but this is the first that re-creates itself within the engine, which is obviously a massive improvement.

The whole thing might sound like far-off technology, but its implementation is possible within the near future. Argonne has previously worked with companies about distributing its previous coatings, and the technology needed to apply it already exists at some engine companies and parts suppliers. Hooray, science!

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via [Chicago Tribune]

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