Lifts and escalators account for 2-10% of the total energy consumed worldwide. It is for this reason that an important part of the R&D efforts in the lifting sector is focused on energy optimisation. Among the different energy-dissipating components is the guiding system, in which the car and the lift counterweight are guided.
There are various strategies to reduce the coefficient of friction, which is reverted into a lower energy dissipated by friction, resulting in an improvement in efficiency and consumption. Among them, the modification of the surface topography is a growing strategy, since it has been shown that it is able to reduce the coefficient of friction in a highly significant way in metal-metal tribological pairs. In this project, the surface texturing of the guide (metal-polymer pair) has been investigated using laser techniques, in which texture patterns have been designed, generated and tested, identifying the ranges in which significant friction reductions are achieved. The success of the results has culminated in the patent for a new, more energy-efficient guidance system.
In collaboration with Orona.