Industrial

Tribology is found in industrial applications of all sizes, from 360 tonne trucks carrying 500 tonnes of mining waste, to small dexterous robots picking and placing microchips. Understanding this tribology is vital for keeping industry moving.

The applications of tribology and tribological study in the industrial sector are as varied as industries themselves. Tribological research has been used to make processes and machines in fields as diverse as wind turbines, milling machines, assembly robotics, and mining operations more reliable, efficient, and profitable.

In heavy industry applications, the forces on components such as bearings, gears and shafts can be huge. Therefore, making sure a good lubricating film can be maintained is integral to keeping heavy machinery running. PCS’ range of instruments, particularly the ETM and MPR are used extensively to study these applications and inform the design of everything from components through to the lubricant itself. The ETM is used for its ability to reach the high pressures seen in the applications, and the MPR for its speed of testing, taking minimal time to reach high numbers of contact cycles. Together these instruments can help inform decisions and keep industry moving smoothly.

In lighter industrial applications, the forces seen are often much less intense, but the importance of a good lubricating film is not diminished. Often moving at high speed or with tighter tolerances, the design of components and lubricants in these sectors is crucial in keeping machines moving as expected. Instruments such as the MTM and EHD are often used for studies into these areas of development. Together, they and the other instruments from PCS can be used to create a clear picture of how parts and lubricants will work together, and how to design systems that are both efficient and reliable.

Industrial industry research areas include:

  • Metal working fluids
  • Extreme pressure additives for high load mining applications
  • Anticorrosion additives for offshore wind turbines
  • Viscosity index improvers for machine operation in extreme conditions
  • Lubricants for high speed robotics applications

Industrial Industry includes the following:

Agriculture

Agriculture

Agricultural vehicles must deal with high-stress forces and, be very reliable to prevent down time. One way this reliability is improved is through optimisation of tribological contacts.

Hydraulics

Hydraulics

From the development of high efficiency environmentally friendly hydraulic fluids to more efficient hydraulic pumps, tribology is an intrinsic part of the hydraulics industry.

Machinery

Machinery

The requirements on machinery components are as varied as the jobs performed by the machines. Every one of them will need lubricating, and choosing the right lubricant comes down to knowing the tribology of the contacts involved.

Mining

Mining

With high loads, harsh and dirty environments and huge costs associated with downtime, mining vehicles have to be reliable even in adverse conditions. Tribology helps ensure this is the case.

Seals

Seals

Seals are found in countless products over a multitude of industries. How they interact with moving parts is an area of tribology work that is constantly developing.

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines

Wind power remains one of the most rapidly growing renewable power sources, so tribological problems found in the gearbox, bearings and generator are the focus of significant research.

Instruments for the Industrial Industry

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Industrial Industry Articles & Papers

Paper

Influence of Wear Surface Morphology and Phosphorus-Containing Tribofilm on Crack Initiation of Manganese Phosphate Coated Steel under Rolling–Sliding Contact

To improve the rolling–sliding contact fatigue strength of a case-carburized steel, the effect of the wear surface morphologies of manganese …

To improve the rolling–sliding contact fatigue strength of a case-carburized steel, the effect of the wear surface morphologies of manganese phosphate (MnP) coated steel and the growth and removal of phosphorus-containing tribofilm on surface-initiated crack formation was investigated. In order to modify the wear surface morphologies, two types of surface textures (ground and shot blasted) were prepared, followed by the MnP coating process. The tribological properties of the coated steel, tribofilm growth and removal, and surface-initiated crack formation were evaluated using a ball-on-disk tribometer with a rolling–sliding mode. The MnP coating on both the ground and shot blasted steel had nearly the same thickness and surface roughness. However, for the ground surface sample, the interface morphology between the coating and steel substrate was more irregular than the shot blasted surface sample, resulting in a larger number of exposed steel areas with smaller sizes after the MnP was almost worn away on tribological tests. During the running-in period, phosphorus-containing tribofilm growth and removal on the smaller exposed steel areas were observed. The surface-initiated crack formation on the smaller exposed steel areas was suppressed compared with larger exposed steel areas.

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Paper

Friction and Temperature Behavior of Lubricated Thermoplastic Polymer Contacts

This work focuses on the friction and temperature behavior of thermoelastohydrodynamically lubricated (TEHL) contacts under rolling-sliding conditions. For this purpose, …

This work focuses on the friction and temperature behavior of thermoelastohydrodynamically lubricated (TEHL) contacts under rolling-sliding conditions. For this purpose, a twin-disk test rig is used with a hybrid setup of plain and fiber-reinforced polyamide (PA) 66 and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) disks paired with case-hardened steel disks and three different lubricants. Experimental investigations include various lubrication regimes by varying sum velocity and oil temperature as well as load and slip ratio. The measured friction in thermoplastic TEHL contacts is particularly very low in the area of high fluid load portion, which refers to the large deformation of the compliant polymer surface. Newtonian flow behavior mainly determines fluid friction. The low thermal effusivity of polymers insulates the contact and can further reduce the effective lubricant viscosity, and thus the fluid friction. For low sum velocities, solid friction influences the tribological behavior depending on the solid load portion. Although the interfacial contact friction is comparably small, material damping strongly contributes to power losses and increases bulk temperature, which in turn affects the TEHL contact. Thus, loading frequency and the resulting bulk temperature are identified as one of the main drivers of power losses and tribological behavior of lubricated thermoplastic polymer contacts.

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