Supporting the responsible use of nanomaterials
Nanosafety Platform general presentation
Nanomaterials, a variety of applications
The automotive industry is one area where nanotechnologies and nanomaterials are making significant inroads: more than 60% of car design and manufacturing processes now involve nanotechnology or nanomaterials. Today's new car designs depend on nanomaterials to deliver higher mechanical resistance while shaving off excess weight. Nano-based information and communication technologies are also shaping the automotive industry. Only nanomaterials have the qualities to enable tomorrow's drivetrains (be they hybrid, hybrid-electric, or all-electric) and manage the many electronic systems that will power the artificial intelligence in driverless cars. Nanomaterials can also bring new features to automotive glass and plastic, delivering anti-scratch, self-cleaning, anti-bacterial, and light-responsive (self-dimming glass) capabilities.
Using nanostructured coatings on mechanical parts is one way to improve resistance and lubrication, making catalytic converters more efficient and reducing the amount of platinum required. Nanostructured ceramic materials are another way. Adding ceramic nanoparticles to lubricants can help reduce friction, improve rheological properties, and boost thermal conductivity—all factors that contribute to lengthening the lifespans of both part and lubricant. Similarly, nanosensors can enhance engine operation and performance.
Automotive tires are another area where nanomaterials can add value. Carbon black can improve tires' wear resistance; silicon dioxide nanoparticles increase tire lifespans and—because the tires are more efficient—lower vehicle fuel consumption.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.