Skip to main content

Next Generation of Mechanics with Hazard-Responsive Surface

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NGenMech (Next Generation of Mechanics with Hazard-Responsive Surface)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-06-30

80%+ of failures in machines using lubricated moving parts (bearings, gears, camshafts etc.) is due to the damaging operational condition called starved oil lubrication. Recurrent exposure to this state is the bottleneck of performance and durability for such machinery. End-users are happy to pay more for reliable and durable engineering products, but state of the art offers only costly and deficient workarounds to the key performance-limiting problem.
A disruptive approach to enhance oil lubrication specifically under the critical damaging conditions is recently viable due to high-frequency ultra-short pulse lasers (HFUSPL) having become affordable outside the realm of high-end applications. By using HFUSPLs the micro- and nanoscale patterning of surfaces is possible with unprecedented precision. Such patterning activates a novel and highly effective oil lubricant delivery mechanism expressly under critical contact conditions, resulting in 3x reduction of friction coefficient, improved performance and reliability, reduced maintenance – doubling the lifetime of the entire machinery.
This technology has been advanced to TRL6: real textured engine parts demonstrated in model engines. To make NGenMech available for industry it needs to be automatised using an optoelectric control unit, duly parametrised for the market entry use case, and piloted by a selected industrial partner.
The aim of the Phase 1 project was to review the market, select technology areas for market entry applications, seek partners for development and piloting, prepare a workplan for product development, and draft a business plan including key risks and contingencies identification and IPR strategy for the Phase 2 project.
We carried out a technological and economic feasibility study in order to evaluate the full potential of our development. The outcomes were positive, and therefore we will continue our development.
To engineer this workplan, the following key Project objectives were reached:
- Recent market assessment both locally, for Europe and globally;
- Identification and negotiation with, and shortlisted several high-profile stakeholders from across the EU, selections of primary use cases;
- Outlined a business concept and validation it with potential end users;
- Creation an operational model and planning our own expansion strategy;
- Analysis of technological feasibility, technology validation, risks assessment and workplan development;
- Freedom to operate analysis and update our IPR strategy;
- Updated business plan creation and calculation of investment required