Episode 15: Developing next-generation fluids for next-generation hardware
In this episode, Rebecca Warden discusses the work of the Advanced Fluids for Electrified Vehicles (AFEV) consortium at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Warden, who is the manager of the Fleet and Driveline Fluids Evaluation Section at SwRI, is co-project manager of the AFEV consortium.
During her 12-year career at SwRI, Warden has been involved with projects ranging from test stand design and development, standardized lubricants testing, and next-generation research and development.
With the rapidly growing and changing electric vehicle (EV) market, there is so much we don’t know, she says. The purpose of the consortium is to find the tools to enable the traditional oil and additive companies to develop the best lubricants for electric vehicles. High-speed durability, materials compatibility, and electrical conductivity are the focus areas of the consortium during its first year.
Not only is there a wide variety of hardware types available globally today, but they are also changing rapidly, she notes.
“We are trying to anticipate what the industry is going to look like in five or 10 years and enable the studies that we are doing to be generic enough so that next-generation fluids can be developed for next-generation hardware,” says Warden.