FUCHS is already researching tomorrow's solutions
The urgency of socially and environmentally relevant topics, such as climate change or scarcity of resources, demands new approaches within the added value chain. Keywords include CO2 reduction, energy efficiency, fuel efficiency, regenerative resources and recycling. FUCHS is facing up to these challenges.
FUCHS engages in intensive research together with numerous partners
Wear and energy consumption of machines increase drastically if they are not optimally lubricated. In many applications, however, ideal lubrication is not possible at all, for example with free-running motorcycle chains or agricultural machines. The twelve partners in the project "Characterization of efficiency-optimized coating lubrication systems (CHEOPS3)”, which was launched in 2015 and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, focused on consistent friction reduction in order to improve the energy and resource efficiency of different drives - also in the field of electromobility. FUCHS was able to achieve significantly lower friction in various applications with the aid of newly developed hydrous fluids and thus contribute to the success of the project. After completion of the research project at the end of October 2019, FUCHS will test this completely new technology with its customers to find out which technical requirements are necessary and useful for the use of water-containing lubricants in the production of drives.
For CHEOPS3, FUCHS and its partners relied on the experience gained from previous PEGASUS projects. The joint research projects launched in 2009 also aimed to increase energy efficiency in the car drive train (engine, transmission, bearings) and to promote savings in fuel consumption by researching material and lubricant solutions.
Nine percent of global energy consumption could be saved with the help of Superlubricity - around one terawatt hour per year in Germany alone. In the transport and industry sectors, which are responsible for a third of energy consumption in this country, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 370,000 metric tons.
Superlubricity means that individual components slide on each other with virtually no friction (the coefficient of friction is less than 0.01). In the internal combustion engine, however, it is hardly achievable from today's perspective due to a so-called masking effect, where individual necessary active ingredients of the engine oil block the active mechanism under certain conditions. Other areas of application are therefore of interest, such as drive chains, electric axle drives or bearings.
The CHEPHREN project, in which partners from research and industry have joined forces, including the Technical University of Munich, BMW and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Materials and Radiation Technology and for Mechanics of Materials, is working on ways to make the oil usable in these and many other fields. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).FUCHS' role is to optimize and develop lubricants, base fluids and additive technology with regard to friction-reducing effects in contact with different coating systems and tribologically exposed plastics.The research partners are also planning to establish databases in order to be able to predict the service life of technical systems more accurately in the future. The aim is to develop universal approaches that can be used to rapidly transfer Superlubricity into real-world applications.
The "Pegasus" project of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is a joint research project launched in 2009 to increase energy efficiency in the passenger vehicle drive train (motor, transmission, bearings). Ten companies and institutes are researching material and lubricant solutions that promote fuel consumption savings.
The research alliance "Technofunctional Proteins" of the BMBF is researching the structure-function relationships of vegetable proteins that are not suitable for food and fodder production. The project is dedicated to the use of modified proteins as additives within the scope of lubricant manufacture. Proteins of this kind can be gained from agricultural waste materials. The project is in the second funding phase (2017 to 2020).