Europe Goes Nano


A lubricant coating using nanotechnology from the research arm of ApNano Materials Inc., an Israeli manufacturer of solid lubricants, has been developed by Europes Foremost consortium.

Foremost (short for Fullerene-based Opportunities for Robust Engineering: Making Optimized Surfaces for Tribology) – a 31-member project under the auspices of the European Union – manufactured the product using nanoparticles called inorganic fullerenes, structures of nested spheres that lubricate engine and machine parts by rolling like miniature ball bearings.

This gives us recognition of the validity of our technology, Dr. Niles Fleischer, vice president of business and product development at Nanomaterials, ApNanos research and development company and Foremost partner, told Lube Report.

The coating lubricates such parts as pump bearings, ball screws, rack and pinion gears, worm gears, hydraulic actuators, and machine tool elements in a range of mechanical systems.

According to Fleischer, the new product is in line with Foremosts mission to provide improved coatings and lubricants that lower wear and extend operational life, reduce emissions and maintenance, cut costs, and reduce the environmental impact of machines, automobiles, trucks and other modes of transportation.

The product falls into one of three categories that the consortium is currently researching and developing with fullerene-like nanoparticles such as nanocomposite hard coatings, polymeric coatings and paints, and lubricants and greases. Other areas where the consortium is using ApNano technology are in the production of ballistic protection armor, personal safety products such as bike helmets, and solar energy for absorbing sunlight into thermal energy.

The coating was introduced in a meeting of the scientific and executive committee of Foremost held in Israel in February. It will be marketed to industrial firms and used by the consortiums partners including EADS, Fuchs, Renault-Nissan, Rolls-Royce, and Stockholm University.

Launched in September 2005, the consortium has a total budget of 18.9 million (U.S. $29.7 million), and is funded by the European Unions Sixth Framework Program for Nanotechnologies and Nanosciences, Knowledge-based Multi-functional Materials and New Production Processes and Devices.

ApNano is headquartered in New York, and its research facility is located in Nes Ziona, Israel. The companys solid lubricants, using nanoparticles, are applied in aerospace, heavy equipment, metalworking and military markets.

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