Nano-engineering-derived advanced sliding interfaces for a novel alternator slip-ring design

Project duration

2013 - 2016

Project Category


Contact Information

prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin


Kolektor Group (Slovenia)

Project is focused on developing tribological and electrically efficient and durable contact for the novel design of sliding electric contacts used to conduct electric current from rotary to stationary mechanical components in electric devices. These systems have large economic value since they are used in almost every automotive and household electric appliance, such as alternators, motors, turbines, generators, etc.

The research proposal will enable modification of current slip ring-brush systems by implementing the new contact design, which, however, provoke remarkably modified sliding interface conditions. Accordingly, different boundary surface films need to be established in the contact interface - the key contact »component« through which all the current, heat and mechanical loads are actually transferred and carried by - for an efficient mechanical and tribological performance.

The new system design also offers strong grounds for successful implementation of a new contact material combination for this application, with significant environmental, technological and economic advances compared to conventional copper-graphite pair. However, there exist no previous experience of contacts under similar conditions and these require proper optimisation and tailoring, which can only be achieved through understanding of the mechanisms and key influencing factors, which will be addressed in this project through micro- and nano-engineering approaches.