One of the testing machines in which the researchers examine liquid crystals as lubricants: With which lubricant does the machine consume the least amount of energy?
November 12, 2008 Lubrication enables all of the world’s machinery to function, but even then, at least a quarter of all the energy is lost to friction. Despite some ingenious lubrication methods, at least 15% of the power made in a car engine is lost to friction. In most machinery, frictional losses are much higher than 15% and the heat resultant from friction generates trillions of dollars of repair and maintenance every year. Now a breakthrough in lubricant design employing liquid crystals promises a vast reduction in friction and some quite remarkable lubricants are about five years from market – oils that could reduce friction to almost zero.