Students in collaboration with the industry

Published: 2 March 2020

Right now, students at Luleå University of Technology are helping Scania with tests of various coatings that hopefully will reduce friction and abrasion in the engines of heavy vehicles – thereby reducing both wear and fuel consumption.

The students are all in the fourth year at the master programme in mechanical engineering and in the project the group will test various new coatings, including titanium dioxide, on cylinder lining. This should reduce friction between the piston ring and cylinder liner.

Big difference

The actual set up of the experiment, material selection, oil and method was decided by Scania, now the student group is in full swing with the testing.
– The tests are done by wearing a piece of the piston ring against a piece of cylinder lining in an 80-degree oil bath, says Lias Sjölund, one of five students in the group.
A test takes three hours, and the idea is to complete nine. Then analysis and reporting to Scania await.
– The fact that it is a real company that can actually benefit from what we do leads us to try harder, says Lias Sjölund.
For an outsider, it may seem trivial with such small improvements, but it can make a big difference in the long run.
– If you have a large vehicle fleet, 1% reduced fuel consumption makes a huge difference, says Lias Sjölund.

Productive cooperation

The entire group says that cooperation with the industry was crucial in selecting the project.
– So far in our programme we have not had much contact with the industry, it has mostly been theory. Here it really feels like you are doing something worthwhile, says Angelica Uusitalo.
She describes how rewarding the collaboration was both within the group and with the industry representatives.
– It is just like in working life I think, you get to work in teams with an outside contact person, it has been very educational. It is about communicating and understanding what they are looking for. Our contact person has been very accessible and accommodating, says Angelica Uusitalo.
– They have really taken us seriously, Isak Johansson adds.

The project is part of the tribology course and the group that has worked with Scania includes Lias Sjölund, Isak Johansson, Jakob Tjäder, Angelica Uusitalo and Oskar Nilsson.