CAN-Coatings - Argonne National Lab
Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) have developed a new breed of catalytically active, hard, and highly slick nanocomposite coatings consisting of metal alloys, including copper, nickel, palladium, and platinum. These metals are catalytically active at the temperatures at which such coatings are used in automotive and wind turbine and other applications, in breaking carbon-carbon bonds in oils and greases, and in depositing amorphous carbon layer on top of the nanocomposite layer. The nanocomposite coating also incorporates an exceptionally hard grain structure made of metal carbides, or nitrides. Structurally, the tribofilm formed during the use of the coatings is similar to diamond-like carbon, which nearly eliminates wear, and provides lower friction than the tribofilms resulting from formulated lubricants containing ZDDP. During use, Argonne’s nanocomposite coatings cause catalytic activity, which cracks long-chain hydrocarbon molecules in the lubricant to form a slick and highly protective (i.e., tolerates high wear and is scuff-resistant), ultra-low-friction carbon film on the coated surface.