The extent that automakers are going to make vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient knows no bounds. Even greases are at risk of being replaced.
“With anti-friction coatings you have fractions of grams” compared with the weight of grease, which can account for a couple grams or up to 50 grams depending on the application, Marjorie Dwane, Dow Corning’s global market manager for automotive smart lubrication told me.
Anti-friction coatings can be applied as very thin films, replacing grease in a car’s chassis and brakes as well as in the interior on, for example, the slide rails for seats.
Dwane said another area where grams can be saved is by moving to fluorosilicone rubber (FSR) from fluoroelastomer (FKM) for heat- and fuel-resistant seals and gaskets because FSR is 25 percent less dense than FKM.
“Every single gram matters,” she added.
Expect to hear more about Dow Corning’s contributions to automotive lightweighting.
Dwane said the company is committing more resources to the automotive area. “We’re really looking at automotive as a sweet spot,” she said. “The trends in automotive are very favorable for our chemistry set.”