“Diamond-coating” is a process in which material are treated with a carbon coating that has hardness properties similar to diamond. The technology has been used for many years on products like razors, tools and even surgical implants, but GM is taking this technology one step further and integrating it into engines.
GM is applying the hard diamond-like carbon coating to the piston rings of its new 1.4-liter Ecotec turbo engine, found in the Sonic and Cruze. The goal of this is to reduce friction and increase fuel economy and durability.
“Thanks to diamond-like carbon coating, we can use lower tension on the Ecotec’s piston rings to reduce friction, which improves fuel economy,” said Rich Ricchi, GM Powertrain technical specialist. “DLC also reduces oil consumption in high-mileage driving, due to the favorable wear properties associated with the DLC coating.”
With the continued success of this diamond-like coating, GM is hoping to integrate the technology to other powertrain components, such as rocker arms, as early as 2014.
“Through years of lab research, we’ve acquired an understanding of how to work with DLC at the atomic level,” said Michael Lukitsch, GM senior researcher. “It holds great promise for future applications, both in advanced manufacturing processes and improved production parts that save our customers money.”
Shine on you crazy engineers, shine on.
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