Advanced Military Diesel Engine Tribology

Period of Performance: 03/14/1996 - 03/14/1998


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Surfaces Research & Applications, Inc.
8330 Melrose Drive
Lenexa, KS 66214
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Advanced law heat rejection (LHR) diesel engine performance and life expectancy are limited almost entirely by performance of engine lubrication systems. Recent Surfaces Research work for TACOM produced the first diesel engine lubricants that can operate at the high temperatures of uncooled LHR engines. In our successful Phase I SBIR work. new additives were developed to further enhance performance of our high-temperature lubricants. The new additives lowered wear and corrosion by as much as an order at magnitude, while maintaining resistance to high-timperature degradation. Solid lubricant coatings developed for mixed lubrication had one-tenth the wear and half the friction of current coatings. In Phase II, high-temperature lubricant systems will be fully developed and demonstrated in LHR diesel engine tests. This comprehensive engine tribology program will incorporate improved, innovative additives, bearing materials and coating into engine products. and optimize them for performance in U.S. Army diesel engines. We will conduct LHR engine tests with liquid and solid lubricants. We will develop laboratory tests for performance predictions. Scale-up and production will be addressed to provide an Army diesel engine tribology system and a direct route for Phase III commercialization. Advanced diesel engines will achieve large increases in fuel efficiency and durability from the new high-temperature lubricants and bearing materials as well as extended life and decreased maintenance. Military and commercial heavy-duty diesel engines will benefit from these improved materials. Commercial applications will extend to automotive, truck, and marine engines.