Lifestyle

Tribology isn't just for machines; it's found all around us in our everyday life. From skin creams to pet foods, tribology is shaping how we interact with the world on a daily basis.

Lifestyle

The lifestyle industry is ever growing and while it is a relatively new area for tribological research compared to mechanical systems, research in this field has grown rapidly in more recent decades. This research is spread across the wide range of sectors that “lifestyle” covers and many researchers around the world are utilising PCS’ instruments to facilitate these studies.

One example of an area of intense and expanding research is the tribology of personal care products. Researchers are working hard to link data from laboratory based tribological testing to what is reported by consumers. Doing this enables the objective, quantitative assessment of formulations. With bench top testing being substantially quicker and cheaper than most consumer panel testing, this process of tribological study enables more formulations to be tested and developed to result in the best possible product.

Using PCS’ instruments, the process of applying product to the skin can be mimicked and the frictional properties of the lubricant (e.g. skin cream) can be determined. Samples can be tested using specimens with similar properties to that of the skin or to custom, user defined profiles. The results produced can then be compared to market leading products and feedback from consumer testing.

Lifestyle industry research areas include:

  • Skin creams (cosmetic and medical)
  • Hair and shaving products
  • Dental pet foods
  • Cosmetics
  • Sports equipment design
  • Haptic feedback systems
  • Nail polish and varnish
  • Toothbrush design

Lifestyle Industry includes the following:

Personal Care

Personal Care

How a product feels when used is critical to a consumer's experience. Skin creams, exfoliates, toothpastes and more have been investigated

Haptics

Haptics

Touchscreen devices are continuing to become more common, so how we interact with them, how responsive they are and how they feel to use is continually being developed.

Watches

Watches

High end mechanical watches often have just one drop of oil in them to lubricate them for a lifetime. Making sure that oil performs exactly as required is therefore critical to a well functioning, long lasting watch.

Sports

Sports

Tribology is found in all levels of all sports, from the grip of a racket, to your skis on the slope and can even be a matter of life and death for climbers with their chalk.

Pet Care

Pet Care

Pets can benefit from improvements to teeth cleaning chews and humans can learn from how animals interact with their environments, like shark skin technology in racing swimming costumes.

Motor Sport

Motor Sport

Not only is tribology vital for engines, bearings and gearboxes. In motorsport even tyre and braking performance needs to be optimised through tribological investigation.

Coatings

Coatings

From non-stick pans to waterproof sprays, coatings are used everywhere and how they interact with the surfaces they come in contact with has been investigated.

Food & Beverage

Food & Beverage

The mouthfeel of products is a growing field. Research has been conducted on everything from the creaminess of dairy products to the astringency of wine.

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Lifestyle Industry Articles & Papers

Paper

Gels and Oil-in-Water Emulsions: a Stepwise, Rheology- and Tribology-Focused Approach

Gels and oil-in-water emulsions are widely used in food, pharmaceutical, and personal care applications. In the case of emulsions, they …

Gels and oil-in-water emulsions are widely used in food, pharmaceutical, and personal care applications. In the case of emulsions, they can be either stabilized by an amphiphilic molecule, forming classical emulsions, or by colloidal particles, forming a Pickering emulsion. These systems exhibit rich rheological and frictional characteristics and factors such as component concentration and/or interactions can affect their final properties. Thus, their characterization is fundamental to understanding their performance from product development to final use. This dissertation provides insights on how to manipulate properties of multicomponent gels and emulsions based on their components, guiding the formulation of products with desired rheological and lubrication properties. For that, we focus on two groups of systems: 1) classical oil-in-water emulsions containing microgel-forming polymers and phospholipids as well as several simplified versions of these systems, and 2) Pickering emulsions stabilized by nanodiamond particles.

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Paper

Exploring Mouthfeel in Model Wines: Sensory-to-Instrumental Approaches

Wine creates a group of oral-tactile stimulations not related to taste or aroma, such as astringency or fullness; better known …

Wine creates a group of oral-tactile stimulations not related to taste or aroma, such as astringency or fullness; better known as mouthfeel. During wine consumption, mouthfeel is affected by ethanol content, phenolic compounds and their interactions with the oral components. Mouthfeel arises through changes in the salivary film when wine is consumed. In order to understand the role of each wine component, eight different model wines with/without ethanol (8%), glycerol (10 g/L) and commercial tannins (1 g/L) were described using a trained panel. Descriptive analysis techniques were used to train the panel and measure the intensity of the mouthfeel attributes. Alongside, the suitability of different instrumental techniques (rheology, particle size, tribology and microstructure, using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) to measure wine mouthfeel sensation was investigated. Panelists discriminated samples based on their tactile-related components (ethanol, glycerol and tannins) at the levels found naturally in wine. Higher scores were found for all sensory attributes in the samples containing ethanol. Sensory astringency was associated mainly with the addition of tannins to the wine model and glycerol did not seem to play a discriminating role at the levels found in red wines. Visual viscosity was correlated with instrumental viscosity (R =0.815, p=0.014). Hydrodynamic diameter of saliva showed an increase in presence of tannins (almost 2.5–3-folds). However, presence of ethanol or glycerol decreased hydrodynamic diameter. These results were related with the sensory astringency and earthiness as well as with the formation of nano-complexes as observed by TEM. Rheologically, the most viscous samples were those containing glycerol or tannins. Tribology results showed that at a boundary lubrication regime, differences in traction coefficient lubrication were due by the presence of glycerol. However, no differences in traction coefficients were observed in presence/absence of tannins. It is therefore necessary to use an integrative approach that combines complementary instrumental techniques for mouthfeel perception characterization.

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