The new dye will tell you when it's time to replace the electric car engine Substances

The new dye will tell you when it's time to replace the electric car engine

Electric motors in cars and other devices contain tightly wound copper wires coated with insulating resin. Due to factors such as the heat generated by the engine, this resin becomes increasingly brittle over time. Eventually it cracks and fails, after which the engine needs to be replaced.

Unfortunately, before reaching this point, there is no easy way to determine how degraded the resin is. However, scientists from the German Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg and the insulation materials company Elantas recently discovered that all four widely used resins gradually release a certain type of alcohol in response to heat.

The researchers experimented with various dyes that bind to this alcohol and do not impair the functional properties of the resin. In the end, they chose one that usually glows reddish-orange when exposed to ultraviolet light, but turns green when bound to alcohol. The more alcohol, the greener the dye fluoresces.

Now it is assumed that electric motors can be equipped not only with a resin containing a dye, but also with compact optical readers that will periodically check the condition of this resin. If it is determined that the resin has seriously decomposed, the owner of the vehicle will receive a warning.

Such a system could protect drivers from breakdowns on the roads, as well as ensure that still serviceable engines will not be replaced prematurely, based only on an assessment of their service life.