Innovation

Materials

Material properties are fundamental to tribological design, from hard and wear resistant substrates, to self-lubricating materials and solid lubricant coatings. We are actively engaged in collaborative R&D into a range of advanced materials and processes. Past and ongoing activities in this area include:

• Development of thin-film solid lubricants for demanding environments
• Development of self-lubricating polymers and metallic materials
• Powder metallurgy of hard & wear resistant materials
• Additive manufacture of enhanced functionality mechanism components
• Cleaner and safer passivation of components
• Multi-scale modelling of advanced materials

Lubrication and Life-enhancement Systems

ESR Technology have been at the forefront of lubricant development and validation over the last half-century. In addition to developing lubricants themselves, we have developed technologies aimed at maximising the lifetime and performance of bearing systems operating in critical applications.

Examples include the development of a bearing active preload system (in collaboration with SpaceMech Ltd.), designed to overcome the compromise between spacecraft launch survival and long life or optimal performance in the space environment. This bearing system was implemented in the first technology demonstrators of a European optical communications payload.

More recently, we have developed a bearing housing component with integral lubricant reservoir (patent pending), intended to maximise bearing maintenance intervals or eliminate the need to perform maintenance completely. This system is also compatible with an active relubrication approach.

Bespoke mechanical systems

We have a strong track record in developing innovative mechanical systems and enabling technologies for a range of applications. These are typically mechanical devices requiring high reliability in challenging environments and such projects are often done in collaboration with other project partners. These include:

• Flexure/compliant systems for high accuracy and stability across a range of temperatures
• Innovative mechanical separation and connection devices for harsh environments
• Long-life and low disturbance bearing applications
• Power and data transfer technologies for rotating machinery
• Advanced mechanical test systems

 

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