Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Metal Surface Developed That Can Self-Repair

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Metal surfaces may soon have the ability to repair themselves thanks to a newly designed ‘coating’ that is filled with tiny lubricant capsules.


A group of researchers from SINTEF and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have spent most of the last two years developing “ground-breaking expertise in coatings and thermal spraying. The researchers are now testing whether it is possible — where two metal surfaces are in contact with each other — to apply a coating to the surfaces formed of hard particles and capsules filled with liquid lubricant.”

There are many types of machinery that depend on being lubricated at all times — if a leak occurs and causes the moving parts to dry out, that creates huge damage and massive costs to repair. The metal surfaces will grate against each other and eventually seize up, sometimes resulting in the complete junking of the machinery.

As an example, wind turbines have very high maintenance costs — “overhaul of their mechanical components alone accounts for 30 per cent.” And I imagine those costs go up substantially for the offshore wind power market. A technology like this could potentially lead to huge cost savings for wind power providers.

To create the surface, the researchers “apply the lubricant using a thermal spray technique, where powder and capsules are fired at the surface using a flame,” says Sergio Armada of SINTEF Materials and Chemistry. “When the metal surfaces come into contact with each other, the coating is broken down in a controlled manner, releasing the contents of the capsules, and the lubricant will then prevent further friction.”

To test the material, the researchers have done a number of tests using slide bearings in industrial settings, measuring the friction on surfaces with the capsules and without them. “When a coating without capsules was applied to the slide bearing, the friction coefficient was 0.7, while friction was reduced to 0.15 in bearings coated with a layer of capsules.”

The researchers think that this coating also has uses in the medical sector, especially in joint replacements.

Source: SINTEF
Image Credits: SINTEF

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

EV Obsession Daily!

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

Tesla Sales in 2023, 2024, and 2030

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


You May Also Like

Policy & Politics

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News! Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, will...

Climate Change

Scientists at SINTEF have an idea for how to prevent hurricanes from forming or reducing the power of those that do form. The secret?...

Clean Transport

Companies in Scandinavia are developing emissions free electric construction equipment, excavators, and medium-duty delivery trucks. Most will be on the market within the year.

Clean Power

Scientists from all across the European Union are working on what could be the next large-scale energy storage option to combine with variable renewable...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.