Rita Ferreira, a researcher at the CMEMS-Center for Micro- Electro Mechanical Systems and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minho, was awarded the best poster prize, among 125 competitors, at the 22nd International Conference on Wear of Materials, the most prestigious world-wide conference in the area, held recently in Florida, USA, with more than 500 participants.This award is sponsored by BRUKER, one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the field of materials research.
The researcher, together with Professors Filipe Silva, Óscar Carvalho, Sandra Carvalho, from the University of Minho, and Engineer Luís Sobral, from MAHLE, developed a new tribometer, equipment to characterise the wear and friction of engine components, namely segments pistons and engine liners.Together with the equipment, methodologies of analysis and characterisation of this tribological phenomenon were defined, responsible for a good part of the consumption of fuels in automobiles.
Researcher Rita Ferreira is doing her PhD in a work between the University of Minho and the company MAHLE, based in Murtede, Cantanhede, and the world leader in motor components, in a theme related to the development of a new class of multi- functional characteristics , in particular of motor segments.This new concept of components is characterised by having a surface containing multiple materials with different functions, which allow the surface of the component to simultaneously possess functions of resistance to wear, reduction of friction, preservation of oil, reservoir for oil residues, for lubrication, among other functions, fundamental for the optimisation of engine performance, in particular for fuel reduction.
The researcher divides her activity between the company MAHLE and the CMEMS centre, centre evaluated with the Excellent classification by FCT. The CMEMS Centre develops new systems of materials and components with multi-functional capabilities, inspired by the operation of existing living systems in nature, and has attracted the interest of multiple national and international companies in sectors as diverse as aeronautics, automotive, medical, equipment goods, among others.