Nanotech moves into the automobile

Nanofilm president (and Foresight participating member) Scott Rickert writes in Industry Week of the changes taking place as nanotechnology moves into the automobile. A couple of excerpts:

“What about getting more mileage out of the fuel itself? Nano-lubricants can reduce friction, converting engine power to motion instead of heat. In fact, some predict that nanocoatings on engine parts may someday replace lubricants altogether…

“Nanotechnology will continue to add to cars’ life expectancy. Body paints and coatings that incorporate nanomaterials help preserve the body against the elements and bumps and bruises of everyday driving. A single nano-coating may offer the protection of three layers of paint. One company describes nanocomposite coatings using particles small enough to be applied with conventional spraying equipment. With a flash of ultraviolet light, the coating becomes a thin, durable plastic barrier that seals out the elements. And can the 150,000-mile tire become a reality? Nano-clays and polymers will be replacing carbon black for increased wear-resistance.” (Credit: Judy Conner)

The changes Scott is describing are near-term to mid-term. The really dramatic advances in transportation will come in the longer-term, when we can make our vehicles using productive nanosystems. —Christine

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