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Pioneering research and skills

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Sound investment Technology developed by an EPSRC-sponsored research team at the University of Sheffield could lead to more efficient car engines – and huge fuel savings for motorists. The team have devised a way to use ultrasound, a tool normally found in healthcare technologies, to measure how efficiently an engine’s pistons are moving up and down inside their cylinders. Professor Rob Dwyer-Joyce says “Our method will allow engine manufacturers to adjust lubrication levels with confidence and ensure they are using the optimum level for any particular engine, rather than over-lubricating to ensure engine safety. “The energy used by the piston rings alone amounts to around 4p in every litre of fuel – there is a lot at stake in getting the lubrication right.” The research collaboration includes Loughborough University, Cranfield University and a host of automotive industry manufacturers and suppliers.

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