Self-healing polymer 'starfish' prolong lifetime of automotive oils

Jan 29, 2010

Researchers have created self-healing polymers that could extend the lifetime of automotive oils. These polymers are suitable to add to lubricants and could maintain the physical properties of engine oils for longer, they claim helping engine efficiency. Biological materials, such as skin, self heal following damage giving inspiration for these new materials.

Polymers are often added to automotive oils to control important physical properties such as viscosity but mechanical and can break the polymers decreasing the efficiency and how they affect the oils properties. The research team, led by Professor David Haddleton, of the University of Warwick have now designed a self-healing, star-shaped polymer for use as a viscosity modifier.

The methacrylate has vulnerable long arms which be broken off if stressed reducing performance. The research team found they could add a particular chemical combination to the polymer's backbone which, almost like a starfish, which allow broken arms to reform via a "Diels Alder cycloaddition reaction" in a self healing reaction.

The research team now plan to 'optimise the chemistry before passing it on to our industrial collaborators, Lubrizol, for development in automotive lubricant applications,' says Professor Haddleton.

Explore further: Heat-responsive polymers that do not breakdown in water may lead to new antifouling coatings and enhanced oil recovery

More information: The research paper "Self-healing polymers prepared via living radical polymerisation" by Jay A. Syrett, Giuseppe Mantovani, William R. S. Barton, David Price and David M. Haddleton, has just been published in Polymer Chemistry. DOI: 10.1039/b9py00316a

Related Stories

URI researchers develop corrosion-resistant polymer

Aug 02, 2004

A new group of non-toxic, corrosion-resistant polymers developed by University of Rhode Island scientist Sze Yang will likely put a smile on the face of Erin Brockovich. The polymers are designed as a replacement for chro ...

Clicking synthetic and biological molecules together

Feb 19, 2008

Dutch researcher Joost Opsteen has developed a method to click polymers together in a controlled manner. Using this method, he can even attach proteins to nanoballs. For instance, this approach could be used to transport ...

Green industrial lubricant developed

Jul 10, 2009

A team of researchers from the University of Huelva has developed an environmentally-friendly lubricating grease based on ricin oil and cellulose derivatives, according to the journal Green Chemistry. The ne ...

Recommended for you

Two teams pave way for advances in 2D materials

2 hours ago

This month's headlines on two-dimensional polymers showed noteworthy headway. "2-D Polymer Crystals Confirmed At Last," said Chemical & Engineering News. "Engineers Make the World's First Verified, 2-Dimensional P ...

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics

20 hours ago

Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process—think stunning, bright butterfly wings of many different hues, for example. Now scientists are tapping into ...

New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel

22 hours ago

Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing ...

Bullet 'fingerprints' to help solve crimes

22 hours ago

Criminals don't just have to worry about their own fingerprints these days: because of a young forensic scientist at The University of Western Australia, they should also be very concerned about their bullets' ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

sender
not rated yet Jan 30, 2010
liquid graphite was supposed to be another such great invention for prolonging oil use