Automotive

New piston skirt coatings promise significant reduction in engine friction

New piston skirt coatings prom...
The EcoTough-New Generation skirt coating for gasoline engines reduces friction by up to 15 percent
The EcoTough-New Generation skirt coating for gasoline engines reduces friction by up to 15 percent
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The EcoTough-New Generation skirt coating for gasoline engines reduces friction by up to 15 percent
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The EcoTough-New Generation skirt coating for gasoline engines reduces friction by up to 15 percent
This micro-section of the EcoTough coating for gasoline engine pistons shows the individual component materials
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This micro-section of the EcoTough coating for gasoline engine pistons shows the individual component materials

The piston skirt and pin account for about 17 percent of the frictional loss in a combustion engine as they are the most difficult to keep lubricated and have the largest contact surfaces. OE powertrain manufacturer Federal-Mogul has announced two new-generation coatings that are claimed to reduce this friction by up to 15 percent compared to standard coatings.

Engineers have attempted to overcome the friction losses at the skirt and pin by optimizing the geometry of the piston's clearances and, more recently, by utilizing advanced coatings on the cylinder wall and piston skirt. Each advance has meant improvements in engine longevity, fuel economy, and power output. Federal-Mogul Powertrains says that its latest EcoTough coatings for gasoline and diesel engines take this a step further, reducing skirt wear in a gasoline engine by up to 40 percent compared to today's market standard.

The coating is a metal oxide-reinforced resin with embedded solid lubricant particles. It's applied in a thickness of 15 microns to the piston's skirt surface. It delivers up to 15 percent friction reduction compared to standard coatings, Federal-Mogul says, which directly improves base engine efficiency. Validation testing is near completion, leading to the new coatings coming to market.

This micro-section of the EcoTough coating for gasoline engine pistons shows the individual component materials
This micro-section of the EcoTough coating for gasoline engine pistons shows the individual component materials

The diesel variant of the coating, called EcoTough-D, was developed for both aluminum and steel diesel pistons and can be used in both passenger vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles. Because the structural rigidity of diesel engines and diesel fuel's higher lubricity, this formulation of the coating should deliver greater improvement, according to Federal-Mogul.

The diesel variant is a polymer-based coating reinforced with short carbon fibers with embedded graphite as the solid lubricant. It reduces piston friction by as much as 35 percent compared to conventional coatings and improves wear resistance by up to 30 percent.

Federal-Mogul expects both coatings to be on the market in 2017.

Source: Federal-Mogul Powertrain

12 comments
JackieWinters
I have been a professional mechanic for over 34 years and have built thousands of engine Diesel and Gas. I have learned about one product named Slick-50 back in the 80's. I use it in all my engine and my 2001 Toyota Tacoma has over 350,000 miles and the engine has never been dissembled for any internal repairs. My 2010 Tacoma now has over 147,000 and has never been dissembled as well. I also use it in the transmission and rear axle and wheel bearings. My 1967 Triumph also uses the product and it has not been shown any wear after the last rebuild in 1990 and is still running, uses no oil and does not rattle. Regular oil changes and Slick-50 every 25,000 miles is the best product I have ever used and would put my company Lemon Protection on the line for it.
Kpar
OK, is that 15% of 17%?
That reduction of 40% in skirt wear? How does that relate to efficiency?
On the diesel variant- it reduces piston friction by 35%- how does that relate to overall friction in the engine?
You are throwing numbers around with no relation to reality. I expect better.
Dweezil Speedy
Whats the effect on the human body when this burns off and gets inhaled or if handled after being exposed to the high temperatures during engine work?
RogerJames
It seems that whenever a great product is developed, whether mechanical or chemical it is bought out by a competitor that buries it forever.
christopher
Graphite? That sounds like it's going to work great, for the 1 minute or less it will take to be worn off.
AlBerard
To little to late for ICE , TESLA is HERE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr. Hensley Garlington
I wonder how this compares with similar coatings being applied to firearm rails, bolts, and bolt carriers and such and or barrel linings? Those all get lots of friction and it seems like if engine pistons can benefit to the advance coatings, than the coatings in firearms could be replaced or vice versa, whichever is better. I'd assume the engine coatings are way more advance and stand up to much more wear and tear, but I could be very wrong, it is an enclosed system.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Molybdenum disulfide in epoxy and as an oil additive has been around since the early 80's. A VW bug ran coast to coast dry with this material.
NebRadojkovic
Or just switch to electric car already and forget about this outdated, barbaric gas and diesel engines...
Bruce Miller
Electrics using this miracle product ! With only three moving part powertrains I see a revolution in distances travelled! Bearings that cannot fail! super lubed this way! No cold temperature problems! no burn off at hi temperatures? and most efficiently lubed! I like it!