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Tribology – friction, wear and lubrication

Our optimised solutions for friction, wear and lubrication applications are based on more than 30 years of experience in experimental research and modelling.

VTT offers its customers profound knowledge, top-level testing equipment, a computer modelling approach and international networking opportunities.

Our main task is to develop and provide solutions for controlling friction and reducing wear in practical applications thus contributing to a sustainable society with low energy consumption and reduced environmental impacts.

Estimates show that about 20% of all energy in industrialised countries is spent in friction losses. High friction often results in high wear, and a substantial part of industrial production is used for replacing worn-out components.

Experimental research

Controlled friction and wear provides improved equipment performance and savings in energy and materials. The lifetime of equipment can be extended while eliminating unexpected damage and downtime. VTT solves friction and wear problems with the help of comprehensive tribo-analysis, experimental research and computer modelling.

We carry out our experimental friction and wear research in the carefully controlled laboratory environment, with special emphasis on reliability and repeatability of measurements. Test set-ups range from model to component level tests, and simulate the real application conditions as closely as possible.

Wear performance is an important material property defining the component performance and the lifetime of many critical components. Also tribocorrosion, the combined action of wear and corrosion, can cause additional degradation or alteration of materials in many industrial processes.

The breakdown of machinery may result in safety risks, environmental pollution and costly downtime during overhaul. Proper selection of experimental methods and conditions yield friction and wear measurement results that are relevant to the application. The experimental tribological research can thus provide the right solutions for the selection of materials, coatings and lubricants for practical applications.

Multi-scale modelling technology

With computer modelling of tribological conditions it is possible to create a more comprehensive and profound understanding on the requirements and conditions of the application. In combining the multi-scale modelling and experimental research it is possible to create a systematic method for generating optimised, break-through tribological solutions for industrial components and machinery.  

With its wide global network in the field of tribology research, VTT has been an active partner in national and international projects, including MOTRICOT, COSMOS , IC2, CARBONBON and IMAGO.


Additional information

Helena Ronkainen
Principal Scientist
+358 20 722 4485

Kenneth Holmberg
Research Professor
+358 20 722 5370

Tuomas Pinomaa
Key Account Manager
+358 20 722 5418