November 14, 2005 – A professor has developed a procedure, which works on metal materials made primarily of iron and molybdenum, that reduces the friction force by using arc ion plating to coat the surface of the metal with a microscopic layer of titanium nitride, The Nikkei Business Daily reported.
Yokohama National University Faculty of Engineering professor Akira Azushima said that, applied to engine piston components, the technology could help improve fuel efficiency. The 3 micron titanium nitride layer reduces the friction force on the metal surface by some 75% when the metal is not wetted with an oil lubricant. And even in the presence of a lubricant, the process lowers friction force by around a third.
Azushima plans to collaborate with metal makers and machinery producers to improve the manufacturing technique and reduce friction force even further.