Stuttgart/Munich. The German Future Prize is considered to be the highest award for innovations in Germany. Dr.-Ing. Patrick Izquierdo (Daimler AG), Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Michel (Daimler AG) and Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Bernd Zapf (Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH) make up one of the three teams nominated today for this year's technology and innovation prize to be awarded by the German President. They are the developers behind NANOSLIDE® - a new coating technology for cylinder barrels in passenger-car engines. German President Joachim Gauck will award the prize in Berlin on November 30 2016.
"The optimisation of modern combustion engines plays a key role in our roadmap for sustainable mobility at Mercedes-Benz," says Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Daimler Group Research & Sustainability. "Innovations such as NANOSLIDE® technology play a crucial role in ensuring that combustion engines will meet the challenges of the future." Because NANOSLIDE® reduces the friction loss in the piston/cylinder barrel system by up to 50%, which in turn reduces fuel consumption by at least 3% in cars with petrol or diesel engines. By doing away with thick-walled grey cast iron cylinder liners, it is also possible to make the engines far more compact, lighter and smaller.
The vision of the friction-free drive system: NANOSLIDE® halves energy losses
NANOSLIDE® is an innovative and economical technology designed to reduce the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of internal combustion engines. An extremely thin, low-friction coating is applied to the inner surfaces of the cylinders in aluminium crankcases.
The NANOSLIDE® technology comprises a multitude of inventions and ideas, and is protected by more than 40 patents. Mercedes-Benz launched the technology to the market on a wide scale in its turbocharged V6 petrol and V6 diesel engines in 2013. NANOSLIDE® technology is likewise employed in the latest-generation four- and eight-cylinder engines from Mercedes-AMG. NANOSLIDE® is also used very effectively in the current Mercedes Formula 1 V6 turbo engine. Furthermore, it was introduced to the all-new four-cylinder diesel engine (OM654) for the first time in March 2016 with the launch of the new E-Class.
To ensure widespread industrialisation of NANOSLIDE® technology as an innovative, profitable and economical process, it was important to develop and implement resource-efficient process steps. A new production process known as "mechanical roughening", in use as a pretreatment process since early 2016, was developed specifically to ensure good bonding between the spray coating and the aluminium cylinder crankcase. Significant electrical energy savings were achieved thanks to this new, innovative approach to the process.
Among the nominees for the German Future Prize are Dr.-Ing. Patrick Izquierdo (Daimler AG), Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Michel (Daimler AG) and Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Bernd Zapf (Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH). Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH in Nuertingen, a manufacturer of machine tools and complete production plants, developed and industrialised all stages of the process for reliable series production to enable its worldwide use. In addition to integrating the technology, including the preparatory and finishing process steps, into the engine production process chain, HELLER also ensures an appropriately high level of process quality and reliability.
German Future Prize: Germany's highest award for innovations
The Federal President’s Award for Innovation and Technology, the German Future Prize has been awarded annually since 1997. In addition to scientific achievement, the award takes into account the marketability of a development. The prize is awarded to projects that improve people's lives, create new jobs and maintain the country's well-being. Entitled institutes put forward possible projects for a high-calibre jury made up of scientific and professional experts to consider. The jury selects the three research teams which it believes has developed the most ground-breaking and marketable innovations for the final round: "the best of the best".
The following development topics from Daimler have already been nominated for the prize on five occasions:
- 1997: "Environmentally compatible and resource-saving vehicle drive system on a fuel-cell basis"
- 2002: "Protector - anticipatory emergency braking system for commercial vehicles"
- 2003: "Preventive occupant protection system for passenger cars"
- 2006: "Night View Assist - infrared technology to enhance driving safety in darkness"
- 2011: "6D-Vision technology - ability to detect hazards faster than humans"