Mercedes-Benz is one of the winners in the 2014 R&D 100 Awards, widely known as the ‘Oscar® of Invention’.
Mercedes-Benz has been awarded the prestigious prize for developing a ground-breaking piece of technology called Nanoslide®, which reduces friction in combustion engines. It works by applying an extremely thin, low-friction coating to the inner surfaces of aluminium cylinders, which reduces fuel consumption and, in turn, carbon emissions.
The mirror-smooth surface created by this process reduces friction between piston, piston rings and cylinder wall by up to 50%. This means that heavy cast-iron liners, which are normally used in cylinder blocks to absorb friction, are no longer needed. The weight saved can improve fuel efficiency by several percent.
The hi-tech product, first used on V6 turbocharged petrol engines for the US market, is now being applied to four and eight-cylinder engines in the latest generation of Mercedes-AMG vehicles. Other production models with Mercedes-Benz engines equipped with the patented technology are set to be launched in the near future.
Nanoslide® has also been a key factor in the success this year of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows Formula 1 cars, which have secured the first-ever F1 Constructors’ World Championship for Mercedes-Benz in its history.
The R&D 100 Awards identify and honour the 100 most important technologies that have been launched during the previous year. Revolutionary innovations that have been recognised in the past include the cash dispenser (1973), the halogen lamp (1974), the fax machine (1975), the liquid-crystal display (1980) and HDTV high-resolution television (1998).
Mercedes-Benz and its partner Heller Maschinenfabrik received their ‘Oscar®’ at a glittering awards ceremony in Las Vegas last year.