The project executed by the Composite Materials Laboratory of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Universidad de Concepción and led by Dr. Paulo Flores, aims to create a material that addresses the difficulties presented in manufacturing processes as a result friction between machine parts.
A team consisting of professionals from UDT, Department of Mechanical Engineering
and the Vice-rectorship for Research and Development
, as well as two Mechanical Engineers, an Industrial Designer and undergraduate and graduate thesis students from different disciplines, led by Dr. Paulo Flores are developing a project that aims to create a material that addresses the difficulties presented in manufacturing processes due to the friction between of machine parts, which are manifested in accelerated wear of parts.
The research aims to generate a self-lubricating and high mechanical strength composite to replace machine parts, this to avoid wear, which leads to failures that can damage the machine and the product, where typically liquid lubricants are used. However, they generally carry side effects.
After evaluating different alternatives for materials, through characterization tests, the team of investigators decided to focus on a compound based on epoxy resin reinforced with carbon fiber and loaded with carbon nanotubes.
Dr. Flores explained that these tests showed that the initial wear rate of the part during the operation decreases achieving a stability upon completion of a given operation cycle.
With these results, the study approaches the next stage, which consisted on conducting material testing under working conditions in an industrial product.
The next step is to complete final tests with rollers coated with the material developed in order to compare their performance and durability in relation to traditional parts.
The project, which runs until January 2013, has a total funding of 297 million pesos and involves Empresa de Servicios Tecnológicos (EST),Indama
and Sociedad de Inversiones Valle Claro as partner institutions.