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Tribology is the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and of related subjects and practices.

Its popular English language equivalent is friction, wear, and lubrication or lubrication science.

cogsHow does it work?

The nature and consequence of the interactions that take place at the interface control its friction, wear and lubrication behaviour. During these interactions, forces are transmitted, mechanical energy is converted, physical and chemical nature including surface topography of the interacting materials are altered.

Understanding the nature of these interactions and solving the technological problems associated with the interfacial phenomena constitute the essence of Tribology.


Chiefly bearing design but extends into almost all other aspects of modern technology, even to such unlikely areas as hair conditioners and cosmetics such as lipstick; powders; and lipgloss; Any product where one material slides or rubs over another, for example; lubricated hip implants; and other artificial prostheses;

Sample handling requirements:

Examples of interacting surfaces in correct mating form

Complementary techniques:

Ellipsometry, Optical Microscopy, SEM, EDX

Warwick Capability:

Pheonix Tribology Ltd TE53 Multipurpose Friction Tester


Dr Ian Hancox, 024 76 150380 email i dot hancox at warwick dot ac dot uk

Tribology Equipment

Typical results format, and sample:

Tribology Spectrum from Bovin Serum

green_tick.gif Warwick collect/analyse data
green_tick.gif Warwick collect data
 green_tick.gif Available to user with expertise/ contribution
 green_tick.gif Spare capacity for collaborative research