Transport

Whether you travel by road, rail, air or sea, you can be sure that tribology has played a part in getting you to your destination safely and efficiently.

Regardless of your mode of transport, tribology will be playing a part in it. Tribology is the study of interacting surfaces in relative motion, which means even the relationship between the sole of a shoe and a path is tribology. For vehicles such as cars and buses, the tribological systems are even more obvious. From the tyre contact with the road, to the brake pads and brake discs, through to bearings, gears and other engine components, tribological research has been conducted on a host of areas. Trains operate with similar tribological issues; they also have engines, brakes, and wheels, but here we are looking at a different scale of load and materials, requiring yet more in-depth research and evaluation. The same is true for boats, planes and bikes.

PCS’ range of instruments have been used by researchers at companies and universities around the world to study the full range of the tribological systems found in transport applications. With PCS’ equipment, researchers can achieve realistic and representative testing of lubricants, coatings and materials at a variety of different conditions, with test parameters and profiles tailored to match what is seen in the field. It is not just one piece of equipment that is used to develop understanding of a tribological system either, often a host of PCS’ instruments are used together to give a better picture of how lubricants, coatings or materials will stand up in the field.

Transport industry research areas include:

  • Boat powertrains
  • Train rail interfaces
  • Electric car powertrain systems
  • Extreme pressure additives for engines
  • Lubricants that can operate in vacuums for space flight

Transport Industry includes the following:

Automotive

Automotive

Many aspects of automotives are tribologically interesting. Extensive research into a host of components such as gearboxes, engines, bearings and brakes is ongoing around the world.

Aviation

Aviation

In aviation safety and reliability are key. Tribological investigation is key to making sure parts in planes and helicopters are appropriately protected by lubricants.

Heavy Duty Vehicles

Heavy Duty Vehicles

Like with cars, tribology research into heavy duty vehicles is ongoing and for this area higher loads are often focused on, for more representative test conditions.

Marine

Marine

Boats and ships operate in wet, often salty, conditions. Tribologists are working hard developing even more environmentally friendly and better performing lubricants for these unique conditions.

Space

Space

Even in space, tribology is still an important consideration. Every moving part on a satellite or space station will have been looked at to make sure they are reliable and appropriately lubricated.

Trains

Trains

Not only are the engines and gearboxes of trains subjects of tribological study, but also the contact between the rails and wheels. Even here tribological research is ongoing to optimise every aspect of train travel.

Instruments for the Transport Industry

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Transport Industry Articles & Papers

Paper

Rheological and Wetting Properties of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) for Application in Stern Tube Seals

The use of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) for stern tube lubrication is increasing. Although the machine components of a sailing …

The use of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) for stern tube lubrication is increasing. Although the machine components of a sailing vessel are designed to operate together with mineral oil-based lubricants, these are being replaced by the less environmentally harmful EALs. Little is known about the rheological performance of EALs in particular at the high shear rates that occur in stern tube seals. In this study, the viscosity and wetting properties of a set of different EALs is analysed and compared to traditional mineral oil-based lubricants using a set of experimental techniques. Some of the EALs present Newtonian behavior whereas other show shear thinning. No significant difference in surface tension was observed between the different lubricants.

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Paper

Investigation of Pure Sliding and Sliding/Rolling Contacts in a DLC/Cast Iron System when Lubricated in Oils Containing MoDTC-Type Friction Modifier

Diamond-like carbon (DLC)/cast iron (CI) systems have been widely investigated due to their important application in engine components such as …

Diamond-like carbon (DLC)/cast iron (CI) systems have been widely investigated due to their important application in engine components such as cylinders, pistons and more specifically for the cam/follower interface. The pure sliding contact of the DLC/CI system has traditionally been the focus of research; consequently less is understood about sliding/rolling contact systems. In addition, the tribological and tribochemical characteristics of the Molybdenum Dialkyl Dithiocarbamate (MoDTC) as a lubricant additive in such sliding/rolling contacts are not fully understood.

In this study, a Mini Traction Machine (MTM) was used to run the experiments using alloy steel balls coated with 15 atomic percent (at. %) hydrogenated DLC (a-C: 15H) rubbing against uncoated cast iron discs. Results showed that the sliding/rolling ratio affects friction, wear and tribochemistry in CI/DLC systems; pure sliding enhances MoDTC activation. MoDTC decomposes to form MoS2, FeMoO4 and not MoO3. In addition, it was observed that MoS2/FeMoO4 ratio depends on test conditions and affects to the friction performance.

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