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Old 22-08-2016, 10:15   #1
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'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology
I read about this new technology quite a few years ago, and just wondered why it has not made more inroads to our boating industry (or all industries for that matter)?

I had hoped it might solve/assist with quite a number of hurtles, ie....

Is there any 'new technology' that has applied to these roller furling/reefing bearings under BIG tension loads?? I recall reading about this 'near frictionless carbon' material from one of our national labs:
http://phys.org/news...n-coatings.html

https://www.research...tionless_Carbon


***** http://www.eurekaler...l-ncc062602.php
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Old 22-08-2016, 13:29   #2
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

From what you posted its a fascinating technology but they haven't figured out how to mass produce it at a reasonable price yet. Interestingly enough this maybe one of those products that actually shows up in the marine world relatively early because there is a high demand with little price concern in the upper ends of the market place.

I could certainly see Harken selling blocks with this on the bearing races at phenominal prices before seeing it in car manufacturing. Even if the car manufacturers fund the R&D, simply because big boats are so price insensitive compared to performance.

There are some major issues I see however. Carbon is very high up the galvanic chart, so fusing this to anything but titanium could be a massive problem, and titanium is notoriously bad at abrasion, it simply cannot be used as a bearing surface in most applications. Maybe the coating could overcome that maybe not, I just don't know. But the galvanic issues caused by depositing carbon directly to most maritime metals would be a huge headache.

It's certainly interesting enough to be worth exploring, but until they figure out the mass production issues its just not going to be ready for prime time.
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Old 22-08-2016, 14:08   #3
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

How's durability?


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 22-08-2016, 15:22   #4
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
How's durability?


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
The articles indicate that it is better than steel-steel with oil lubrication by a substantial margin.
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Old 22-08-2016, 15:31   #5
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

I was meaning durability in a harsh environment, like with salt crystals in the sliding surfaces. Or have they even done the testing?


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 22-08-2016, 16:32   #6
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

UV also probably and then chemical reactions with carbon. Etc.

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Old 23-08-2016, 06:17   #7
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

I think it was (is) still in its 'technology phase' as developed by the National Labs.

Many times they do not get into the 'commerical application' phase, but rather let private companies do that. Perhaps some of that commercialization research has been hampered by our economic 'recession' since 2008?
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Old 23-08-2016, 06:29   #8
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
I was meaning durability in a harsh environment, like with salt crystals in the sliding surfaces.
Perhaps if the bearing surfaces were a VERY VERY thin carbon atom layer (or even multiple stacks of VERY thin layers), something as large as a salt crystal could not get into the atomic structure of that layer of bearing material?
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Old 23-08-2016, 06:34   #9
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

Carbon bearings are high wearing self lubricating (usually) it is used in performance products for top end sports F1, MotoGP, top fuel dragsters, prob even top end sailing comp boats. Very expensive and short life span. Most products have an exacting life span and these have been tested and measured. Doubt they will ever make it to cruising boats or warranted for that matter.
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Old 23-08-2016, 06:35   #10
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

For long term bearing development, my money is still on ceramics for the marine environment.
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Old 23-08-2016, 07:25   #11
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

I wonder if salt bath nitriding (tennifer) would be something that could be used on steel to solve the corrosion issues. As it's not so much a coating, as a process that changes steel's makeup on the surface of a part. It's super hard, like a Rockwell of 80 or so, as well as being super corrosion resistant. And I know that it's used in some severely high wear areas on engine parts, including things like turbochargers. As are some other, similar, "coatings".
Maybe they should call Area 51 & ask them for the appropriate materials Now Those kinds of blocks would SELL!

One question on blocks though, in reference to their mention earlier in the thread. Anyone much consider that a lot less blocks are selling/offered now, as they've been replaced by low friction rings?
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Old 23-08-2016, 10:59   #12
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

Near-frictionless carbon coating nears commercial applications



Four years and more than 3,000 phone calls and e-mail contacts later, Argonne's "Near-Frictionless Carbon" coating stands on the brink of commercialization.


A flurry of calls from just about every engineer who works with moving parts followed the announcement in 1997 of a new coating with the lowest coefficient of friction ever measured.


Not only is the material slick, it's extremely wear-resistant. A sample of the coating on a sapphire substrate, placed in a standard testing machine, survived 17.5 million passes of a steel ball pressed against its surface. After 32 days, the testing machine failed, but the steel ball had left only a barely visible track on the shiny black coating. Publicity about the coating led to a flurry of calls from engineers across the country, who wanted to test the coating on everything from artificial-hip sockets to rocket-sled rails.


The development led to R&D 100 and Discover awards, invited talks and invitations for keynote speeches for materials scientist Ali Erdemir of Argonne's Energy Technology Division (ET) and national recognition for Argonne and its tribology program.


But as the initial clamor died down, Erdemir and his fellow tribologists (scientists who study lubrication and friction) John Woodford, Layo Ajayi and George Fenske (all in ET's Tribology Section) turned their efforts to learning how the coating worked - and converting the laboratory curiosity into something industry could use.


"Turning the coating into an engineering application was not that straightforward," Erdemir said. "When you venture into specific applications, you have to be able to tailor the material to very specific conditions. We needed to figure out how something like this works and under what conditions it works."


Dozens of companies sent parts to be coated and tested for applications such as diesel fuel systems, bearings, manufacturing equipment and compressors. The coating performed well on many of these parts.
"Companies liked the coating, and then they'd ask how we could coat 100,000 parts per year," Erdemir said. "With the original lab equipment, we could coat a few tens of small pieces. But for the coating to be commercially viable, you have to process parts by the hundreds, if not thousands. That was the biggest stumbling block."


Argonne's Office of Technology Transfer secured a cooperative research and development agreement with CemeCon USA, a subsidiary of CemeCon Germany, which makes industrial coating systems. CemeCon provided one of their best coating systems to Argonne, where it is being adapted to produce the NFC coating.


"It's the Cadillac of coating systems," Erdemir said. "We can coat hundreds of small parts per day."
Although Argonne's tribology group is able to produce the NFC coating and adapt it to various industrial uses, it wasn't until very recently that they began to understand why the stuff is so hard and slick. The answer seems to be that the carbon atoms in the coating are benefiting from an overdose of hydrogen.

Black magic
NFC coating is made in a plasma chamber. Parts to be coated are mounted on a fixture that sits on a rotating table inside. Air is pumped out of the sealed chamber, which is then refilled with a mixture of hydrocarbon gases, such as methane. High voltage creates intense plasma around the parts, breaking apart the methane molecules into its constituent carbon and hydrogen, which begins to coat the parts.


The ability of carbon atoms to bond in many ways is both a blessing and a curse. It allows for exotic forms like "buckyballs" and "nanotubes," but can be a nuisance when friction is a problem. When two surfaces with regular carbon coatings come in contact, for example, carbon atoms from each surface bond at the contact point. The relative motion of the surfaces then rips bonded atoms from each surface, causing high friction and wear.
In the NFC coating, the carbon atoms lie down in flat layers, just like a conventional carbon coating. However, due to the hydrogen-rich mix of gasses in the chamber, any available bond on the coating surface may attract a hydrogen atom. Erdemir believes the hydrogen atom loses its electron to the carbon atom's outer shell, leaving the positively charged hydrogen nucleus exposed. Some carbon atoms could even support two hydrogen atoms.


This may explain the super-slick properties of the coating, especially when two NFC-coated parts come in contact: The hydrogen atoms' positive charges repeal each other. The surfaces are essentially gliding past each other like maglev trains.
"No matter how hard you press them together, there is a repulsive force overcoming the 'sticktion,'" Erdemir said.


And since the hydrogen-carbon bond is extremely strong, more so than even a carbon-carbon bond, the surface is highly wear-resistant.
The tribology group is planning to use scanning tunneling microscopy - a technique capable of resolving individual atoms - to study the coating's atomic structure directly and confirm his hypothesis. The group also plans to use Argonne's Advanced Photon Source and Intense Pulsed Neutron Source to study NFC's microstructure and chemical bonding.
The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600 companies and numerous federal agencies and other organizations to help advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for the future. Argonne is operated by the University of Chicago as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratory system. — Dave Jacque
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Old 25-08-2016, 02:03   #13
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Re: 'Near Frictionless Carbon' technology

Coating of various types have been used in car and motorcycle engines for some time. I use Techline coatings on piston skirts and on plain bearings. They work as advertised and could certainly be used for boats. TBH, I never thought about it before this thread, but might give it a try.
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