Tribology – Friction, wear and lubrication
The foundation of VTT’s expertise and problem-solving skills lies in its interdisciplinary nature, more than 30 years of experience in application-based research in friction and wear, top-level testing equipment, computer models and international networks. Friction and wear measurements are carried out in both dry and lubricated conditions in a carefully controlled laboratory environment. The reliability and repeatability of measurements is a key issue. Where necessary, VTT also has the ability to design and build testing equipment to meet the special needs of the application being tested.
It has been estimated that about 30-50% of all energy in industrialized countries goes to overcome friction. High friction often results in high wear, and a substantial part of all production in industry goes to replace worn-out products with new ones. In addition, the breakdown of machinery may result in safety risks and environmental pollution. One major challenge of VTT’s attempts to achieve a sustainable society with low energy consumption and reduced environmental impact is to control and reduce friction and wear.
Friction and wear control make it possible to improve the performance of equipment and save 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. With the proper selection of testing methods and conditions, the friction and wear measurements yield results relevant to the application in question. Experimental research combined with the latest modelling technology approach forms a systematic method for finding satisfactory solutions and the best materials and design parameters.