Nanotechnology, the science of operating matter at an atomic, molecular, and macromolecular level, is one of the most innovative and fastest-growing fields in the world. While this kind of technology encompasses the production and the application of various systems in many segments, it is more likely to offer tremendous advantages in the field of cars and motoring.
In brief, the nanotechnology is likely to have a significant impact on the world of driving and vehicles shortly. Breakthroughs will soon be made in the fields of the automotive. It has already changed the way engineers, scientists, and automotive experts think and is expected to influence the upcoming technologies and solutions largely.
With the utilization of nanotechnology, which is progressively being seen as vital for transformation in a variety of automotive sectors, we shall take a look into the future of this industry, the benefits nanotechnology holds, and the barriers that one has to overcome to unlock the potential of this expertise to the fullest.
Internal Combustion Engines
Nano-engineering will help you reduce the size and weight of the internal combustion engines while improving the performance. The engine blocks containing the essential moving parts of the mechanism are made up of cast iron. It is because the metal is the only solid material that could resist the high pressures and temperatures produced in the heart of an engine.
However, the engineers later learned to manipulate aluminum on an atomic level (nano-engineering) to produce materials that are lightweight as well as stronger than any other aluminum alloys. This tactic makes the internal combustion engine much more fuel-efficient with increased durability, even in the increasingly unreceptive conditions found in modern engines. Producing such engines has always been the goal of designers.
Moreover, the ultra-thin layers of engineering ceramics are placed on metal substrates, forming a coating that is firm enough to endure high temperatures and also wear situations. Altering the primary model of the engine block material, and the surface architecture delivers a broad scope for designers to wear physiognomies, heat exposition, and power at raised heats.
Nanotechnology has also created advances in motor oils, where it is strong enough to resist the grueling settings of the latest engines. Nano-manipulation is capable of producing a new breed of oils that can adhere to internal shells for extended times so that it occupies the right room when the engine starts and thereby proposes more durable fortification right from the beginning. These oils are also capable of putting up with much grander use as the forbearances amongst engine parts fall drastically, and they maneuver much closer together.
Today, automotive engineers and designers can use nanotechnology to collectively enhance the fuel cells, which is an alternate technology to hydrocarbon fuels. Here, the hydrogen passes over a catalyst to form hydrogen ions, which later gets into oxygen to produce adequate energy. The catalysts used in this scenario are increasing variations of platinum nanostructures that are capable of enlarging the surface area and harvesting a large number of hydrogen ions, maximizing the energy production.
Structural Chassis and Exterior
We know that even smaller reductions in weight can increase the fuel efficiency of cars, be it petrol, diesel, or electric. And, the most excellent method to reduce the weight of any vehicle is by employing lightweight materials for both the body part and the structural chassis parts. Nanotechnology will be of more considerable help to the automotive industry with an objective to increase vehicle mileage.
The nano-manipulation of materials will create lightweight automotive materials such as panels, chassis, and car bumpers that are strong and sturdy. Besides, the engineers can use nanotechnology to create the plastic panels that can self-repair and reform themselves following any external damage.
The researchers are constantly looking out for ways to improve the battery life of the vehicles while enhancing its performance, especially when a large number of next generation of electric cars are seen on the streets. This made the automotive engineers produce lithium-silicon batteries that boost performance as well as longevity.
If you did not know, the newest progress in this fast-moving field includes:
- Minute nanostructures with carbon shells covering lithium-rich silicon cores.
- Silicon nanowires that expand and contract while absorbing and shedding lithium ions.
The combination of these two technology permits efficient energy transfer, where only a small portion of the energy is lost to the environs as more heat is supplied to the system.
Paints and Fabrics
The automotive designers are finding ways to protect the vulnerable surface of car bodies from harsh surroundings, and self-repair at the time of damage. Nano-sized layers of inorganic filters can be applied to such exposed surfaces of vehicles. The smart particles of nanotechnology aids repel dirt and grime, keeping your car cleaner. The self-cleaning window glass that is coated with titanium oxide nanoparticles will react to sunlight and break down dirt automatically.
Besides, the specialist nanotechnology fabrics will keep the interiors of the vehicles fresh, soft, clean, and repellent to bacterial effects. The new studies on orientable surface particles have shown that soon the drivers will be able to change the exterior and interior color of the cars by merely adjusting the minute electrical charges.
The convergence of several scientific disciplines is leading to a multiplication of nanotechnology applications in the automotive industry. Soon, we may see a quieter, cleaner, safer, and more pleasant car as this field is embracing a large business. That is the reason why nanotechnology is predicted to have a significant impact on the global economy within the next few years as further scientific breakthroughs are made.