TriboTEX Smart-Coating Nanotechnology Startup
A Clean Lubrication Alternative Company
Founded in Pullman Washington by Pavlo Rudenko (CTO), a recent Ph.D. graduate in Materials Science and Engineering from Washington State University, TriboTEX began in 2012. Rudenko started development over seven years ago of a lubrication additive composed of two-sided proprietary nanosheets that reverse wear and enhances lubricity in internal combustion engines and large commercial gearboxes. One side of the nanoparticle is sticky, and the other side is smooth. The “sticky side” binds to wear-degraded surfaces, restoring much of the original luster and dimensionality while presenting the “smooth side” to any other surface coming contact with it. The overall result is a diamond-like carbon coating that increases the mechanical stability of the surface and reduces the friction coefficient 10-fold. Rudenko says, “Any moving part can benefit from our technology.”
Friction’s Real Cost
In heavy duty vehicles, 33% of fuel energy is used to overcome friction. Annual maintenance costs in low-speed wind turbines are between 3-5% of installation costs and 11% of the total annual cost of hydropower facilities. A rough estimate of cost savings from decreased unscheduled maintenance and equipment failures are in the billions annually.
Initial Product Line
Late model automobiles use the latest advanced surface treatments – carburization, boriding, nitriding or coatings during manufacturing. CarBoss brings the same technology to cars that have been on the road for years or decades. CarBoss can improve these vehicles without engine disassembly. It will not correct broken pistons or a cracked block. However, it can detect dropping cylinder compression or increasing running temperatures. CarBoss reduces the potential for engine failure. If vehicle performance isn’t improved, the full purchase price is refunded with no questions asked. CarBoss is compatible with all gasoline powered engines. The older the engine, the better the results. Improved compression and horsepower increases of 10 to 15 percent are common.
DuoLife was developed for the rigorous demands of bearings and gears of large-scale industrial equipment. Using the same type of two-sided nanoparticles as CarBoss. Because of the increased temperature, load ranges, and back-to-back shifts using DuoLife is a two-step process. Component A forms a primary base. Component B is a secondary top layer that increases mechanical efficiency. Each unit of industrial gearbox treatment is developed for sump reservoirs of 40-80 gallons.
TiboTEX Competition Results
- Awarded $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from National Science Foundation
- Won the WSU Business Plan Competition and one of 150 finalists in Clean Tech Open
- Chosen as one of 80 students across the nation to participate in Singularity University, a privately funded corporation that offers a 10-week summer program for graduate students and specialists from academia, business and government to address critical global challenges.
- Member’s Choice Award at the Licensing Executives Society Foundation International Graduate Student Business Plan Competition in San Diego, Calif.
- Best Idea Prize for Technology at the University of Washington’s Business Plan Competition in Seattle.
- National Science Foundation Funding Grant
- First prize ($3000 award) in the Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ Palouse Challenge