What is it about?

This research studies the problem of 'cold welding' in small, precision motors, known as piezoelectric motors, that are used in extremely low air pressure conditions like space. Cold welding is when two metal surfaces bond together due to friction, causing the motor to fail. We test various coatings used to prevent this problem, finding Teflon to be the most effective.

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Why is it important?

Cold welding in these motors can lead to critical failures in devices used in space or similar environments, making it a significant issue. By identifying Teflon as the most effective coating to prevent this, our research provides a simple and effective way to enhance the reliability and lifespan of these motors. This finding could be particularly important for space exploration and other high vacuum applications.


Personally, I am thrilled to contribute to a solution that could have wide-ranging implications for the reliability of precision devices. I find it especially exciting that our work could potentially influence future space missions, enhancing the functionality of critical equipment in ultra-high vacuum conditions. This study also reaffirms the importance of rigorous testing to identify the best material solutions, even in seemingly small-scale applications.

Tae-Hwan Kim
Pohang University of Science and Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Systematic investigation of wear-induced cold welding in ultrahigh vacuum piezoelectric motors with non-metallic coatings, Review of Scientific Instruments, June 2023, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0147344.
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